Matchweek 1 preview: Central Coast Mariners v Newcastle Jets

Fireworks are guaranteed in the final A-League match of 2020 as the Newcastle Jets make the short trip to face to face bitter F3 Derby rivals, the Central Coast Mariners, on New Year's Eve.

The arrival of Costa Rica FIFA World Cup star Marco Ureña and the return of former Mariners junior Oliver Bozanic will have boosted the Yellow and Navy faithful's hopes of seeing Alen Stajcic's side climb out of the A-League doldrums and avoid a fourth straight wooden spoon in 2020/21.

The embattled Jets have suffered a turbulent off-season while searching for new ownership and, following the sudden departure of head coach Carl Robinson to Western Sydney, former Westfield W-League coach Craig Deans has stepped into interim duties with a threadbare squad. 

While there has been an exodus from the Hunter, wantaway midfield star Steven Ugarkovic has vowed to give his all for a side that still contains the experience of captain Nigel Boogaard, Lachlan Jackson, Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Ben Kantarovski, Jason Hoffman and ex-Mariners hitman Roy O'Dononvan, who always seems motivated to see the net bulge against his former employers. 

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Marcos Urena
Central Coast Mariners made one of the signings off the off-season in Costa Rica's FIFA World Cup star Marco Ureña

Squads

Central Coast Mariners Squad:   1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 3.Lewis MILLER, 4.Joshua NISBET, 5.Stefan NIGTRO, 6.Gianni STENSNESS, 8.Oliver BOZANIC (c), 10.Daniel DeSILVA, 11.Jack CLISBY, 14.Daniel BOUMAN, 15.Kye ROWLES, 19.Matt SIMON, 20.Adam PEARCE (gk), 21.Ruon TONGYIK, 23.Dan HALL, 25.Matthew HATCH, 26.Jaden CASELLA, 29.Alou KUOL, 30.Jordan SMYLIE, 31.Damian TSEKENIS, 32.Max BALARD **2-4 to be omitted**

Unavailable: 7.Stefan JANKOVIC (quarantine), 12.Marcos URENA (quarantine), 22.Michal JANOTA (quarantine)

Newcastle Jets squad: 1.Lewis ITALIANO (gk), 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 11.Ramy NAJJARINE , 13.Maki PETRATOS, 14.Ali ABBAS, 15.Tete YENGI, 16.Matt MILLAR, 18.Jack ARMSON, 17.Valentino YUEL, 19.Kosta PETRATOS, 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 23.Jack DUNCAN (gk), 24.Connor O’TOOLE, 25.Jack SIMMONS, 26.Archie GOODWIN, 27.Lucas MAURAGIS, 32.Angus THURGATE, 44.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY **2-4 to be omitted**

 Unavailable: 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (suspension – 1 week), 2.John KOUTROUMBIS (ankle – 2 weeks), 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI (calf – 2 weeks)

Mark Birighitti

Match details

Thursday, December 31 2020
Kick-off: 7.05pm AEDT
Venue: Central Coast Stadium
Broadcast: FOX Sports 505
Stream: MyFootball Live App, Kayo Sports

Ways to watch

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Matchweek 1: Central Coast Mariners v Newcastle Jets

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Roy O'Donovan
Ex-Mariner Roy O'Donovan is likely to lead the line for the Newcastle Jets.