Wilko close to 100

Central Coast Mariners skipper Alex Wilkinson is set to make his 100th competitive appearance for the club in the Boxing Day clash against Newcastle Jets at EnergyAustralia Stadium.

Central Coast Mariners skipper Alex Wilkinson is set to make his 100th competitive appearance for the club in the Boxing Day clash against Newcastle Jets at EnergyAustralia Stadium.

Wilkinson has the remarkable record of starting every competitive match in the club's history apart from a nine-match injury layoff at the beginning of season three.

Wilkinson's start against the Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium last Friday was his 99th in yellow and navy - a tally that has been accumulated through 77 Hyundai A-League appearances, 19 in the Pre-Season Cup and a further three in May 2005's Club World Championship qualifying series.

"We're honoured to have been represented by such an exceptional individual as Alex - a player that has always showcased total commitment to the Mariners cause and one that has exhibited great pride in wearing the Mariners crest," said Mariners Executive Chairman Lyall Gorman.

"As captain, he has been integral to all of our recent successes and instrumental in establishing the team and club culture that has become so synonymous with the Mariners and with the Central Coast and that, indeed, will ultimately be one of many enduring marks that Alex will have made in Mariners colours."

Wilkinson was the driving force behind the Mariners' greatest success to date - the Hyundai A-League 2007/08 Premiership.

Wilkinson will be presented with a framed jersey to commemorate his milestone achievement in front of the Bluetongue Stadium gallery ahead of the Mariners' New Year's Eve clash against the Perth Glory at Bluetongue Stadium.

"It's a great honour to be so close to making my 100the appearance and it's been a priviledge to have been such a big part of this club since the very beginning," said Wilkinson.

"We've achieved so much on and off the field and to have done this with the support of the coaching staff, administration and players here at the Mariners has been really memorable and something that all of us can reflect on with a great deal of pride."

"Football isn't about achieving personal milestones and as flattering as this achievement is, the main objective for the short term is a win against the Jets on Boxing Day and once we achieve that, I can truly enjoy what will be a special moment."