Macallister in doubt

Central Coast has suffered a major blow ahead of Thursday's Hyundai A-League opener against Melbourne with star striker Dylan Macallister in doubt for the round one blockbuster.

Central Coast has suffered a major blow ahead of Thursday's Hyundai A-League opener against Melbourne with star striker Dylan Macallister in doubt for the round one blockbuster.

Macallister suffered a knee injury in a scoreless draw against Wellington at Dubbo at the weekend and has not trained this week.

Mariners manager Lawrie McKinna originally feared the big front man would require surgery and miss the first weeks of the season.

Although surgery has been ruled out Macallister is a big doubt to take his place up front against the defending champions.

"He did well to play 70 minutes against Wellington but we knew something was wrong after the game," McKinna said.

"He's 50-50 for next Thursday. I'll give him until Tuesday and then make a decision."

Macallister was keen for a big start to the year after his form dropped off dramatically at the end of last campaign.

He had shoulder surgery after the Asian Champions League and was looking sharp at training.

Even without Macallister, McKinna has options up front with Adam Kwasnik, Matt Simon and Nik Mrdja all battling for a start.

Kwasnik has been outstanding throughout the pre-season and is favoured to start while Simon and Mrdja are also expected to feature.

McKinna admitted playing Melbourne away from home first up was a tough ask but he is confident the Mariners can get at least a draw.

Meanwhile, former Celtic and Scotland Under 20's midfielder Michael McGlinchey has added yet another piece to the Mariners jigsaw ahead of the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season, by agreeing to terms with the yellow and navy for the next two seasons.

"Michael has been extremely impressive during the two weeks he's been at the club, both on and off the field, and from what we have seen of him so far, we are confident he will fit very well into the Mariners plans," said Mariners Executive Chairman Lyall Gorman.

"He has played at the highest level in Scotland, with that nation's biggest club, and while he has plenty of experience, he is still only 22, so he has a bright future ahead of him."