Osman pushing for return

Versatile Matthew Osman will be pressing for a start in next week's minor semi-final first leg against Queensland when he returns to action for the Central Coast Mariners in the National Youth League on Friday night.

Versatile Matthew Osman will be pressing for a start in next week's minor semi-final first leg against Queensland when he returns to action for the Central Coast Mariners in the National Youth League on Friday night.

Osman has been out of action for several weeks with a hip injury. He has been training strongly and is desperate for a strong showing ahead of the club's third finals campaign.

Mariners coach Lawrie McKinna confirmed the Gold Coast-bound Osman would get plenty of game time in the youth match against Newcastle at Adamstown.

Osman was in solid form before sustaining the injury and his versatility will be crucial if the Mariners are to make a third grand final in four seasons.

Osman will be joined in the Mariners youth team by Nigel Boogaard, Greg Owens and Andrew Clark.

Boogaard played in a midfield role when the Mariners suffered a final round 1-0 defeat against Adelaide in the Hyundai A-League last week. He needs more game time before the finals, while Owens and Clark are also keen to enhance their selection prospects with solid performances.

Clark has been unable to cement a starting spot in Central Coast's line-up after suffering a shoulder injury against Wellington in October, while Owens has battled serious injury throughout his time on the coast. He did however, come off the bench against Adelaide last week.

"All these guys need game time," McKinna said.

"They're all a chance to play next week depending on how they play and injuries."

McKinna has been happy with how his squad has trained this week after heading into the finals on the back of three straight defeats.

"With the heat we've cut our sessions back but the boys have been working very hard," he said.

"We are very positive about next week."