Mariners: We're underdogs

Central Coast midfielder Ahmad Elrich says the Mariners will be assuming the underdog tag despite coming up against Newcastle, last season's last-placed club in Friday night's F3 Derby.

Central Coast midfielder Ahmad Elrich says the Mariners will be assuming the underdog tag despite coming up against Newcastle, last season's last-placed club in Friday night's F3 Derby.

Both sides were convincing winners in the opening round of the new Hyundai A-League season, the Mariners stunning Melbourne 2-0 before the Jets rounded off a big weekend by overcoming Wellington 3-2 on Sunday afternoon.

But despite the impressive first-up result and being one of the competition's most consistent clubs over its first four years, Elrich says the Mariners remain underdogs in most games this time around after not strengthening their squad to extent of many opposition clubs.

"It's good to go in with that underdog tag," Elrich said on Wednesday.

"People aren't giving us a chance but that's good for us, because there's no pressure on us, so we can go out and give it 110 per cent, play the football we know we're capable of, and come away with results."

"Hopefully (we can) fly under the radar and come finals time shock a few people, sitting hopefully in top position," he said.

Family ties also look set to be cast aside as Elrich belongs to two sets of brothers preparing to do battle on Friday night.

Mariners' left-back David D'Apuzzo could line up opposite older brother Adam should the pair be selected by their respective managers, while Ahmad Elrich is poised to clash with younger sibling, Jets defender Tarek.

"He's a mummy's boy and always gets Mum on his side," Ahmad Elrich said.

"So I'll probably have Dad on my side."

"(But) I think they might be feeling a bit sorry for him because they finished last, last season, so a few of them might jump on his bandwagon. Hopefully I can disappoint them and we can get the three points."

And should the result on Friday finish in Central Coast's favour, Ahmad says he'll have plenty of ammunition when the pair meet up again for a family function on Sunday.

"(Our sister) is getting married on Sunday so hopefully we can come away with a win and I can keep hammering him at the wedding."

"It should be a good game. It's a local derby, they played well, and we did really well on Thursday night, so another three points to go, it'd keep us on top of the table."

"I'm sure it's going to be a fiery game, but hopefully we can come out on top," he said.