Mariners unfazed by flu threat

Central Coast will treat Saturday's Hyundai A-League pre-season trial match against Gold Coast United as any other match despite a swine flu scare sweeping through the opposition camp.

Central Coast will treat Saturday's Hyundai A-League pre-season trial match against Gold Coast United as any other match despite a swine flu scare sweeping through the opposition camp.

Gold Coast confirmed during the week that youngster Tahj Minniecon had contracted the disease while four team-mates - Daniel Piorkowski, Adam Griffiths, Matt Osman and Joel Porter - were placed in quarantine as a precaution.

Mariners football manager Lawrie McKinna said his team wasn't concerned about picking up the virus.

"Not really, the boys have just joked about it, it's not really a concern, I'm sure Gold Coast have done everything they need to do make sure it's all clear, the five boys are in quarantine, they've done everything they can do, so no, it's not a concern," he said.

Defender Brad Porter, a close friend of Osman, joked: "It doesn't surprise me Ossie has swine flu with the kind of people he hangs around with."

"It's obviously a serious issue, but I'm sure every precaution has been taken, and if the game is going ahead, for the people to make that decision, it's OK."

McKinna said the Mariners were ready for what they consider arguably the toughest test of their five-match pre-season campaign.

"Gold Coast are the glamour team and I know they've got a few players out with the flu, but nobody is at full-strength at this time of the year so it will be a good hit-out for the boys at Skilled Stadium," he said.

"The boys have just had a good training session, they're looking pretty sharp after another heavy week, so we're looking forward to the game."

Added Porter: "Apparently they are supposed to go through undefeated this season, but no, obviously it's going to be a good test to see where we are at."

Former Celtic star Michael McGinchley will get his first chance to impress McKinna in a game situation, after the triallist put in some positive performances at training.

"Trying a few new things with the players, Michael McGlinchey will start and looks very exciting, he looks like a very good player and while he's small, he's lively and looks good on the ball, so it should be good to watch him in the game," McKinna said.