Rizzo fighting for his future

Central Coast recruit Nick Rizzo knows he will be playing for his Hyundai A-League future when the Mariners begin their Asian Champions League campaign against the Pohang Steelers at Gosford on March 11.

Central Coast recruit Nick Rizzo knows he will be playing for his Hyundai A-League future when the Mariners begin their Asian Champions League campaign against the Pohang Steelers at Gosford on March 11.

After two frustrating seasons in Perth, Rizzo will play with the Mariners throughout the Champions League.

He needs to discover his best form to convince Central Coast officials he is worth a permanent deal with the Mariners.

If determination and hard work at training is any indication, Rizzo is well on the way to securing a long-term contract with the Mariners.

Rizzo played strongly in midfield as the Mariners lost 1-0 to fellow Champions League contenders Newcastle last Tuesday.

He had several good touches before coming of at half-time.

"So far so good," Rizzo said of his first weeks on the Central Coast.

"I didn't play as much as I would have liked at Perth so when his opportunity at the Mariners came up I jumped at it."

"The Mariners have been one of the most successful clubs in the A-League and I'd love to be part of that after the Champions League."

"It'll be a real challenge for the team and for me but I'm up for it."

Rizzo, a former Liverpool player, said he feels like he still has something to prove despite enjoying success overseas, especially in England with Crystal Palace.

He believes the Mariners will hit back hard in the Champions League after a poor end to the A-League.

"There's plenty of talent in the squad," he said.

"I'm sure the club will hit back. Everyone is buzzing about the Champions League, it's a great opportunity to play at a higher level. It's a fresh start for me and the club."