Youngsters impress as Arnold ponders squad

Central Coast Mariners mentor Graham Arnold has named the same 19 players in his provisional squad for this weeks clash with Gold Coast United as he did for his teams opening round fixture against Brisbane Roar.

Central Coast Mariners mentor Graham Arnold has named the same 19 players in his provisional squad for this weeks clash with Gold Coast United as he did for his teams opening round fixture against Brisbane Roar.

Despite the narrow opening day defeat to Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium, Arnold was pleased with the endeavour of his team and has rewarded each member with a place in the provisional squad to face Queensland-s other Hyundai A-League side.

The team taken to Brisbane is complemented by the inclusion of emerging youngsters Bernie Ibini, Sam Gallagher, Trent Sainsbury and Brad McDonald, who have all pressed their claims for inclusion with strong training form.

Additionally, the talented quartet have put in accomplished performances in trial fixtures for the Mariners National Youth League (NYL) team this week.

On Sunday, the junior Mariners side travelled to Canberra to play the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), and according to the Yellow and Navy-s NYL mentor, Tony Walmsley, 2011 Qantas Young Socceroos representative Ibini was one of the teams top performers.

“All four senior players put in a mature performance against the AIS. We are always happy when the senior boys contribute to the NYL program but of course it is about getting them into the first team plans as efficiently as possible,” Walmsley said.

“Our structure was good in Canberra and last seasons NYL top scorer Bernie created problems on both sides of the attack with his pace.

“He hit the post late on and there was some good signs of his best form in the front third,” he said.

Backing up just 48 hours later against Sydney FC-s NYL team, Ibini scored the Mariners only goal as the side went down 2-1 to the Sky Blues at Sydney-s training base at Macquarie University.

With Head Coach Arnold watching, Ibini picked the baIl up on the edge of the area before firing a curling left footed effort into the back of the net.

“Our players did extremely well against a Sydney FC team featuring Hyundai A-League regulars such as Bruno Cazarine, Dimitri Petratos and Sebastian Ryall,” Walmsley said.

“We now have a two game camp in Western NSW to fine tune a few things and with the start of our season just a week away, things look encouraging.”

Patrick Zwaanswijk will again deputise for regular Central Coast Mariners captain Alex Wilkinson who will miss another week with an injury to his forearm.

Positively, Mariners strength and conditioning staff have determined new, experienced recruit Stuart Musialik is a week closer to being available for squad selection.

Central Coast Mariners vs. Gold Coast United Saturday 15 October - Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford Kick-Off: 5:30pm (AEDT) TV: LIVE on FoxSports 1 RADIO: LIVE on Coast FM (96.3FM) TWITTER: Follow LIVE match updates at www.twitter.com/CCMariners + join the conversation using the official match hashtag #HALccmgcu

Central Coast Mariners Squad: 1. Mathew RYAN, 2. Daniel MCBREEN, 3. Joshua ROSE, 4. Pedj BOJIC, 5. Brad PORTER, 6. Patrick ZWAANSWJIK (c), 8. Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 9. Bernie IBINI, 10. Adriano PELLEGRINO, 11. Oliver BOZANIC, 12. Troy HEARFIELD, 14. Michael MCGLINCHEY, 15. Brad MCDONALD, 16. Trent SAINSBURY, 17. Michael BAIRD, 19. Matthew SIMON, 20. Justin PASFIELD, 21. Sam GALLAGHER, 23. Adam KWASNIK *Four to be omitted*

Unavailable: 7. John HUTCHINSON (On Loan), 13. Stuart MUSIALIK (Adductor - 1 week), 18. Alex WILKINSON (Forearm - 1 week), 22. Mustafa AMINI (Groin - 4 weeks)