Mariners eye September standard step-up

Central Coast Mariners will look to win over fans far and wide during their 2011/12 Hyundai A-League pre-season campaign, commencing with a clash against Bankstown City at Jensen Park, Sefton on Wednesday 7 September.

Central Coast Mariners will look to win over fans far and wide during their 2011/12 Hyundai A-League pre-season campaign, commencing with a clash against Bankstown City at Jensen Park, Sefton on Wednesday 7 September.

Kicking off at 7:30pm, the match against the Lions will be followed by trips to Wollongong and New Zealand as the Yellow and Navy look to gain the fluidity and cohesion needed to succeed in season seven of Australia-s elite football competition.

A week into phase three of the teams preparation for their forthcoming Hyundai A-League march, Mariners Assistant Coach, Phil Moss, said the primary focus of each pre-season game would be gaining a collective understanding of every players- role within the team unit.

“As with all pre-season games, it-s all about us,” Moss said. “It-s not really about who we-re playing against, it-s about getting some continuity and making sure the new players who have come to the club this year understand their roles in the team, with and without the ball.

“The early signs have been very promising. We-ve got a bit of a head start from where we were this time last year, but the games are very important for match fitness which we can-t replicate in training.”

Indeed, only four days after the Mariners first clash against Bankstown Lions, the Mariners will face Illawarra Premier League Champions, Dandaloo FC - a team flush with Hyundai A-League experienced players including former Mariners Noel Spencer, Alvin Ceccoli and Sam Munro, as well as Adam Casey.

Starting at 5pm at John Crehan Park, Dapto, the match will provide the Mariners with another opportunity to build upon the base the team Moss indicates is currently being built.

“The boys are doing most things under fatigue at the moment because we-re working pretty hard physically,” he said. “We-re not rushing things, but we-re certainly not playing catch up in any way.”

The first Hyundai A-League opposition Central Coast will face in the lead up to the commencement of the new season will be Perth Glory on Sunday 18 September. A location for this clash is still to be confirmed.

Soon after the meeting with the purple-whites, the Mariners will fly south to New Zealand for a short tour of the land of the long white cloud.

The first stop on the Mariners tour of New Zealand-s North Island will be Tauranga, the biggest city in the Bay of Plenty region. There, Central Coast will face their second Hyundai A-League rivals within a week, this time in the form of Wellington Phoenix.

A match-up against 2011 O-League Champions, Auckland City, will round out the Mariners pre-season match preparations, leading into the opening game of the season proper against Brisbane Roar on Saturday 8 October.

Additional fixtures may be added to the Mariners 2011/12 Hyundai A-League pre-season match schedule.

Meanwhile, the Mariners have been pleased with the response to their 2011/12 Hyundai A-League Membership drive. Already, nearly 3,000 people have converted from fans to Members for season seven of Australia-s premier club competition.

The early bird price period for new Mariners Members closes at 5pm on Friday 26 August. Visit www.ccmariners-memberships.com.au for all the details.

Central Coast Mariners Pre-Season Match Schedule

Wednesday 7 September - 7:30pm Jensen Park, Sefton Doug Turnbull Cup Bankstown City vs. Central Coast Mariners

Sunday 11 September - 5pm John Crehan Park, Cringila Dandaloo Lions vs. Central Coast Mariners

Sunday 18 September - 2pm Location TBA Central Coast Mariners vs. Perth Glory

Sunday 25 September - Kick-Off TBA Bay Park, Tauranga, New Zealand Wellington Phoenix vs. Central Coast Mariners

Wednesday 28 September - 6:30pm Croatian Club, Te Atatu South, Waitakere, New Zealand Auckland City vs. Central Coast Mariners