Official Preview: Newcastle Jets v Central Coast Mariners

Finally it’s here! Fifteen weeks into the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season

Newcastle Jets v Central Coast Mariners Wednesday 24th November 7:00pm EnergyAustralia Stadium

Finally it-s here! Fifteen weeks into the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season, Jets and Mariners go toe-to-toe in another epic F3 derby.

It-s taken its time in arriving, but, at last, Newcastle Jets and Central Coast Mariners face each other in the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season. And what a game it is set to be at EnergyAustralia Stadium.

While the country continues to get pumped for the upcoming game with LA Galaxy, Jets fans know that local bragging rights are what really count. Sure, the match with David Beckham-s lot will be fantastic fun and offer great publicity to Newcastle and the Hyundai A-League in general, but it won-t put points on the board, nor will it offer the passion and intensity that a local derby brings.

A bread-and-butter mid-season fixture with Mariners is not only a derby fuelled by local rivalry and history, but will be seen by both sides as a good opportunity to pick up three valuable points.

A tussle between these two sides will inevitably bring back memories of the 2008 Hyundai A-League Grand Final, and what happy memories they are for Jets fans.

That day, a 64th minute Mark Bridge strike was the difference between the teams and gave Newcastle their latest Grand Final triumph. The day at Sydney Football Stadium is one that they will never forget.

The Yellow Army won-t ever forget the match either, but for very different reasons. Even with all the water that has since passed under the bridge, the late controversy that the Grand Final threw up still smarts.

A late chance to equalise was denied them by the referee-s decision not to award a spot-kick after the ball seemed to strike the arm of Newcastle player James Holland. The ensuing fracas, of course, led to the nine month suspension of Mariners then keeper Danny Vukovic, which cost him the chance of a place at the Olympic Games.

However, rather than focusing on this miserable end to an otherwise great season, Central Coast can instead look to the last time the sides came face to face if they are seeking inspiration.

In February, despite struggling at the wrong end of the ladder, Mariners strolled to a 3-0 win in Newcastle, thanks to goals from Nigel Boogaard, Adam Kwasnik and Matt Simon.

Such is the intense rivalry involved in this clash, that the head-to-head between the sides has been split very evenly, with neither team willing to submit lightly to the other. Of their 20 meetings over the past five Hyundai A-League seasons, Jets have won seven times, Mariners on six occasions with the other six games ending in typically tense and hard-fought draws.

Since Newcastle-s Grand Final triumph though, Mariners have held the upper hand against their local rivals, with Newcastle only having beaten them in one of the six meetings since that controversial day in 2008.

You-ve waited a long time for it and the night is almost here. So purchase your tickets today and get ready to represent your side by singing your heart out.

Before the glitz and glamour of the weekend-s LA Galaxy match comes a full-blooded and hotly contested local derby, and your support could be the lift your side needs. Jets fans, Mariners fans, let-s fill EnergyAustralia Stadium with colour and noise and make this a derby to remember.

Click here for the derby tickets