Mariners primed for opener

The pain of last season's grand final defeat is a distant memory as Central Coast Mariners kick off the A-League season with a clash against premiers Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.

The pain of last season's grand final defeat is a distant memory as Central Coast Mariners kick off the A-League season with a clash against premiers Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.

In a rematch that has been six months in the making, the Mariners are desperate to kick off the season in style and a perfect way to achieve that would be with a win over the defending champions away from home.

Mariners coach Graham Arnold has recruit smartly during the extended off season and is more than happy with the make up of his squad heading into the vital early season matches.

"For us, the grand final is well and truly forgotten,'' Arnold said.

"Because of this long off season we've been able to get the new players up to speed - I'm very happy with where we are at.''

"We've got a wonderful culture within the club and the team, the spirit is fantastic.''

The Mariners have been impressive throughout the pre-season, recording several strong wins, including good performances against A-League rivals Wellington and Perth.

Arnold said while the long break provided a huge challenge for his coaching staff, there were positives.

"We're in a good shape and the players are very fresh which is a good thing coming into a season,'' Arnold said.

"Now the boys just want to play. We've done a lot of training and played a lot of pre-season matches, we just want to get the season started.''

With young gun Mustafa Amini out injured former Perth attacking midfielder Adrianno Pellegrino will make his A-League debut for the club in Brisbane.

Pellegrino has been one of the club's best performers in recent trial matches.