Oar: 'I feel as confident as I ever have'
The nightmare is over for Central Coast Mariner Tommy Oar.
Fit-again, and feeling as confident as he ever has, the 27-year-old is ready to help fire the Mariners back up the Hyundai A-League ladder.
Oar - who shot into the Caltex Socceroos spotlight and earned a move to Eredivisie club FC Utrecht in 2010 on the back off his Hyundai A-League introduction with Brisbane Roar - is ready to consign his injury woes to the past.
“Everything is looking good for this season, and I feel as confident as I have," Oar told www.aleague.com.au.
The Australian returned from a knee injury sustained in February of last season in July. He says he's growing from strength to strength, and is ready to make an impact for the Mariners in 2019/20.
INS AND OUTS: Central Coast Mariners
“For me it was just a matter of making sure I was thorough in my recovery and getting everything right to come back 100%, and I can’t wait for the A-League to start again and help the team achieve a lot of success which is what I wanted to do last year.”
“I missed most of the season more or less and that was extremely frustrating, I wanted to come back to the Mariners and help the team have a lot of success last year, so it was frustrating for me to watch from the sidelines.
“With the medical staff through the back end of last season and the off-season just gone I worked really hard to get myself back to full fitness, and since we started pre-season I’ve been feeling really good, training fully and playing all the matches.
“I’m definitely feeling fit, and just looking forward to the games to start, really.”
While Oar has continued to rebuild strength and confidence in his body, he and his teammates have been adjusting to the methods of coach Stajcic, who has had his first full pre-season on Gosford.
“Staj’s big philosophy is to win every moment in the game,” Oar said.
“That’s how we approach training every day; you have to give training your all every day as it’s very physically and mentally demanding, and that’s how he pushes his players to new levels.
“I think last year we conceded too many goals, so that’s one thing we’ve looked to address.
“Defending from the front, and the whole team staying united defensively to make sure we are fixed on that front.
“We had (Stajcic) at the end of last season as well so we got a bit of a taste, but we’ve been working really hard and all the boys are buying into what he wants to do this season.
“He’s brought in some really exciting, young attacking players and more experienced midfielders as well so we’ve got a really good blend of experience and youth; I think that will hold us in good stead.
“We’ve really bought into what he wants to do, we’re working hard and we’re getting there.”
Stajcic has certainly run the changes through the Gosford dressing room in the off-season.
And Oar is excited by the potential of the new-look Mariners squad.
“We’ve got a lot of attacking players that can play in many positions,” Oar said.
“We’ve got Daniel De Silva who is back and looking good in training, we’ve got Kim Eun-Sun, the new Korean who is a really good leader on the pitch and I think he will surprise a lot of people this year.
“We’ve got some really good talented players; we’ve never played together before so we’re still learning to play together but I think it’s going well and we’re improving every week.
“We’ve played a lot of friendlies and all the results have been pretty good, so I think everything is looking good.”
Of course, results on the pitch will need to continue for the 2012/13 Champions to get back to the Hyundai A-League summit.
“The last few seasons for the Mariners have been disappointing,” Oar said.
“We just really want to give the fans something to cheer about.
“I think we’ve got a lot of quality in our squad; we’re well organised, we’re fit, we’re hungry, and it’s just a matter of time now for rewarding their faith.
“I think it’s a matter of making a statement I guess, and getting the club back to where it belongs.”
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