Mariners fire up

Central Coast is looking to step up its intensity on Monday night as it faces off against F3 derby rival Sydney FC in the Mariners' first big pre-season clash.

Central Coast is looking to step up its intensity on Monday night as it faces off against F3 derby rival Sydney FC in the Mariners' first big pre-season clash.

Having had just a fortnight off since bowing out of the Asian Champions League, coach Lawrie McKinna has taken his charges through an intense first week back on the track as they prepare for the new Hyundai A-League season.

And, the coach will soon know just how of an much impact that first week had when his side takes on the Sky Blues on Monday night for local bragging rights.

"The boys have worked really hard," McKinna said.

"We've had a couple of boys pull out because they've picked up little niggles but overall it's been a real solid week."

"Five days, six sessions plus two gym sessions, so eight sessions and the boys deserve the weekend off before they come back for the game on Monday."

The Mariners are expected to be close to full fitness for Monday's trial, with only Dylan Macallister and Matt Simon unavailable.

"Dylan (Macallister) is fine, but just with physical contact he's still a couple of weeks away, so he's still in cotton wool a wee bit," McKinna said.

"Matty (Simon) has been running, he's been getting better all week. At the beginning of the week he was still a bit stiff in the knee but as the week's gone on he's been getting better and better."

"Nathan Sherlock is tired, and Shane Huke is just a precaution, but the two of them should be right for the game on Monday night."

"It's Hyundai A-League opposition, although they'll have a couple of triallists and young boys in, we'll have the same. It's important for us, we've had two and a half weeks off, and a had a real tough week back, the boys will freshen up and do their own thing over the weekend, and on Monday, we'll be looking for a result down there.

"Sydney had a good result last week against the Fury, and beat Sutherland through the week, but we'll be looking to get a result, before we head off to Canberra during the week for two games down there," McKinna said.