Mariners' tails are up

If confidence is any indication, the Central Coast Mariners are right on track to be the first Hyundai A-League club to book a grand final berth this season.

If confidence is any indication, the Central Coast Mariners are right on track to be the first Hyundai A-League club to book a grand final berth this season.

The Mariners take on arch-rivals Brisbane in the first leg of the major semi-final at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday night.

Captain Alex Wilkinson and the rest of the Mariners squad are raring to go after claiming the premiers plate for a second time with a 2-1 win over Wellington on Sunday.

It is that victory that has the club primed for another mouth-watering showdown against Brisbane, who famously came from two goals down to beat the Mariners in last season's epic championship decider.

"We've put ourselves in a great position and have two bites at the cherry again," Wilkinson said.

"The focus for us now we've won the premiers plate is going all the way and winning the grand final."

"It would be great to finally do it."

Wilkinson is a foundation player at the Mariners and has played in each of the club's three grand final defeats to Sydney in season one, Newcastle two years later and last year's heartbreaker against the all-conquering Roar and the skipper does not want to go through that pain again.

Wilkinson has been a vital member of a strong Mariners defensive unit this season alongside veteran Patrick Zwaanswijk, Pedj Bojic and Joshua Rose.

The team's outstanding defensive structure has been a key factor in their charge to the top and will need to continue against a Brisbane side boasting some of the best attacking players in the history of the competition.