After almost 10 years at Sydney FC, new Mariners goalkeeper Ivan Necevski says he is looking forward to facing off against his old club at Allianz Stadium on Saturday.
The Mariners 3-3 draw with Perth in Round 1 was Necevski’s first competitive match since Sydney FC’s exhibition match against Tottenham Hotspur back in May and says that with more game time his confidence will grow.
“This week has been great preparation for Saturday’s match,” Necevski said. “To come back and get a draw against Perth away after being down 3-0 is very good.
“We’ve been training hard this week, I’ve had a lot of messages from Sydney fans looking forward to getting me back there to say hello so I’m looking forward to it and it will be a good challenge for us.
“I thought I did relatively well considering the last time I played was in the exhibition match against Tottenham so I’m working hard with Nashy and the young boys and feel confident that the more games I get under my belt the better I’m going to get.
Necevski spent almost a decade with Sydney FC and says that his insider knowledge will help with the Yellow & Navy’s preparation leading into Saturday’s clash. Sydney have a potent frontline but Ivan says the Mariners could have the paciest attack in the league.
“After my time there I know how things work, the way training goes and hopefully we can dissect how Arnie wants his team to play,” Necevski said. “We have focussed on a good recovery early in the week and we’ve gone through the video so we know their strengths and their weaknesses so hopefully we can exploit them.
“Going forward Sydney have a good front four but you saw what our front four did to Perth the other night, our wingers are amongst, if not the quickest in the league so we’re looking to do some damage there,” Necevski said.
Necevski made two heroic one-on-one saves in the dying stages to deny two Andy Keogh strikes in Perth and says that regardless of who is on the attack, goalkeeping is all about reaction times.
“Being a goalkeeper it comes down to reactions,” Necevski said. “Sometimes it’s hard to read a player’s body language so you just need to react but hopefully on Saturday it doesn’t get to me.
“The boys did great in the second half not conceding and showed against Perth that we can run over the top of teams. They thought they had three points in the bag but we showed a lot of character.
“We need to pick up where we finished off against Perth, our main objective is to keep a clean sheet. We know we’ve got the firepower so we just have to tighten up in defence with some fine tuning and we can hopefully keep our first clean sheet of the season.