Mariners face their biggest test

The Central Coast Mariners will face their biggest pre-season test to date when they travel to Australia's glamour coast to take on Hyundai A-League newcomers Gold Coast United at Skilled Park on Saturday.

The Central Coast Mariners will face their biggest pre-season test to date when they travel to Australia's glamour coast to take on Hyundai A-League newcomers Gold Coast United at Skilled Park on Saturday.

The Mariners have yet to loose a match this pre-season but it is their opponents who are making greater waves after they managed a shock 2-1 win over English Premier League side Fulham last week.

Although United are already being tipped as heavyweights for the Hyundai A-league campaign, Mariners coach Lawrie McKinna is confident his side can produce an upset by becoming the first side to defeat the star-studded side.

"We're looking forward to the challenge. We had a couple of solid hit-outs in Canberra which the boys can learn a lot from, had a good week down there and the boys are refreshed and excited about going up to the Gold Coast," McKinna said.

"It'll be good to catch up with Matty (Osman) again and find out how he's going, obviously Miron will know what he wants to get out of the match, and Clive Palmer has already said they'll win the league undefeated in their first season, so I suppose we'll have to go up there and lose," he joked.

"No, we won't be doing that, we're undefeated so far in pre-season, it's only a short time until the first game against Melbourne, so we'll be going up there looking for a good performance and hopefully getting a result, and being the first team to do so against the new boys."

The match will give McKinna a chance to cast his eye over trialist Michael McGlinchey, who has begun training with the yellow and navy following his release from Scottish Premier League giants Celtic.

"Michael's come in and has a good pedigree, even though he's a Celtic lad, but no, he's done well over there and looking for a chance over here, so he'll give us another option in midfield, and he can play up front as well so we'll see how he goes this week and again next week in Dubbo," McKinna said.

"We've also got a young keeper from the youth squad Matty Ryan to come in and work with Danny (Vukovic) while Andrew Redmayne is away, and we're still looking for one or two more faces before the start of the season."

"Gary Wales did well when he was on trial with us last week and we'll have a look at a few more between now and Melbourne on August 6."