Perth Glory’s away match to the Central Coast Mariners promises to be a tight affair with only three points separating the two teams as they both try and stay in the hunt for a finals’ position.
Perth Glory-s away match to the Central Coast Mariners promises to be a tight affair with only three points separating the two teams as they both try and stay in the hunt for a finals- position.
The Mariners- four wins (16 points) has them sitting narrowly on top of Glory-s three wins (13 points), but the similarities do not end there with both teams having had to deal with player movements and coaching changes in recent weeks.
The Glory have been hit hard with injuries to key senior players Scott Jamieson, William Gallas, Shane Smeltz, and Ryo Nagai but youngsters Jack Clisby, Ryan Edwards, Jamie Maclaren, Ndumba Makeche, Chris Harold, Matthew Davies, Danny De Silva, Riley Woodcock and Brandon O-Neill have all stepped up admirably to ensure Perth has remained competitive in every match.
Perth-s most impressive victory coming in Round 9 with a resounding 4-2 win over Wellington Phoenix. That match featured seven players under the age of 21 and included starting-game debuts to teenagers De Silva (16) and Woodcock (18).
Central Coast has also had to deal with a string of changes to their senior squad. Daniel McBreen missed the first four rounds of the season because he was on loan to Chinese Super League team Shanghai East Asia.
Michael McGlinchey scored against Perth in Round 7 and looms as one of the Mariners most dangerous players. McGlinchey will play his last game for the season against Perth before he transfers to J-League outfit Vegalta Sendai.
In the coaching stakes, Phil Moss took over from Graham Arnold in Round 7 and Kenny Lowe replaced Alistair Edwards in Round 11.
Moss has picked up three wins from his six games in charge while Lowe picked up his first points last week with a hard-fought 0-0 draw against Adelaide United despite only having the team for two training sessions. Lowe will be looking to build on the Adelaide result after having the opportunity to train the team for an extended period over the Christmas break.
Speaking at the airport prior to the team flying out, Lowe said he was looking forward to getting away with the team and testing themselves against the reigning Hyundai A-League Champions.
“This gives us a chance for everybody to intermingle, to create a bond and to have a little bit of a good time together, to get away from Perth a little bit with what-s going on and just get a bit of freshness in the group so we-re really looking forward to it.”
“They are in a state of flux, they have changed coach, they have lost a couple of players but ultimately, you look at the side, what a good side it is. So, we-ve got our hands full when we go over there but we-re not daunted, we-re not fazed, it-s going to be a real competitive game and hopefully we can contribute to that and get something out of it.”
Now in its ninth year, the Mariner-s New Year-s Eve match has become a great tradition in Gosford and averages 14,278 fans over the past eight matches. Glory has taken part in two of those eight matches.
The first one was played in front of 15,546 people during the 2008-09 Hyundai A-League Season but there are no Perth Glory players left in the team from that day (although Danny Vukovic was in goal for Central Coast).
The second match was played in front of 14,591 fans last season with Vukovic, Steve McGarry and Jacob Burns all part of the Perth Glory team that lost 1-0 to a 68th minute Bernie Ibini-Isei strike .
Steve McGarry is due to play his 100th Hyundai A-League game for Perth Glory against the Mariners. The former St Mirren, Ross County and Motherwell star has been a model of consistency for Perth ever since he joined the club four seasons ago and has 36 Hyundai A-League wins with the Glory - the most by any player to have played at the club.
In good news for the Glory, Socceroos defender Michael Thwaite signed a new, two-year deal with the club during the week that will take him through to the end of the 2015-16 season. The towering defender has been outstanding at the back and leads the team in clearances with 48 (5th in the league) and intercepts with 62 (10th in the league).
It-s hard to believe it was only five weeks ago that Mitchell Duke popped up in the 93rd minute to volley home the injury-time winner at nib Stadium and end Perth Glory-s five-game unbeaten streak. Will the final Hyundai A-League match of 2013 be decided in similarly dramatic circumstances?
Central Coast Mariners v Perth Glory Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford Kick-off: 6.00pm local (6:00pm AEDT) Referee: Shaun Evans
TV broadcast: 6.00pm (AEDT) Live coverage on FOX Sports 1HD and Sky Sport 4 (New Zealand). Radio Broadcast: 92.5 ABC Central Coast, 720 ABC Perth, ABC Local Radio Western Australia, Grandstand Digital, Online/Mobile phone app Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #CCMvPER To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au/tickets
Central Coast Mariners Squad: 1. Justin PASFIELD (Gk), 2. Daniel MCBREEN, 3. Joshua ROSE, 4. Marcel SEIP, 5. Zachary ANDERSON, 6. Brent GRIFFITHS, 7. John HUTCHINSON (C), 8. Nick MONTGOMERY, 9. Mitchell DUKE,10. Marcos FLORES, 11. Nick FITZGERALD, 12. Liam REDDY (Gk), 14. Michael MCGLINCHEY, 15. Storm ROUX, 16. Trent SAINSBURY, 17. Anthony CACERES, 19. Matthew SIMON, 21. Mile STERJOVSKI *two to be omitted* Ins: 6. Brent GRIFFITHS (promoted), 17. Anthony CACERES (promoted) Outs: Nil Unavailable: 22. Tom SLATER (back - 1 week), 23. Adam KWASNIK (knee - season)
Perth Glory Squad: 1.Daniel VUKOVIC (GK), 2.Jack CLISBY, 3.Brandon O-NEILL, 4.Ryan EDWARDS, 6.Cameron EDWARDS, 7. Jacob BURNS, 11. Adrian ZAHRA, 14.Steven McGARRY, 15. Isaka CERNAK, 16.Sidnei SCIOLA MORAES, 17. Chris HAROLD, 18.Jack DUNCAN, 20. Danny DE SILVA, 22. Ndumba MAKECHE, 23.Michael THWAITE, 24.Matthew DAVIES, 25. Riley WOODCOCK, 26.Harry O-BRIEN ** two to be omitted ** Ins: 15. Isaka CERNAK, 26.Harry O-BRIEN Outs: 8.Ryo NAGAI, 10.Jamie MACLAREN
GLORY REVIEW - ROUND 11 Perth Glory 0-0 Adelaide United (Half-time 0-0) nib Stadium Sunday 22nd December 2013 Attendance: 9436 Referee: Alan Milliner
GLORY REVIEW - ROUND 111.Daniel VUKOVIC (GK), 2.Jack CLISBY, 6.Cameron EDWARDS (3.Brandon O-NEILL), 7. Jacob BURNS, 8.Ryo NAGAI (11. Adrian ZAHRA), 10.Jamie MACLAREN, 14.Steven McGARRY,17. Chris HAROLD (16.Sidnei SCIOLA MORAES), 23.Michael THWAITE, 24.Matthew DAVIES, 25. Riley WOODCOCK
Subs not used: 18.Jack DUNCAN, 22. Ndumba MAKECHE Bookings:24.Matthew DAVIES (49-), 23.Michael THWAITE (87-)
Adelaide United: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (GK) (c), 4.Jon McKAIN, 5.Osama MALIK, 7.JERONIMO (17.Awer MABIL), 8.ISAIAS, 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA, 11.Bruce DJITE (19.Jake BARKER-DAISH), 12.Antony GOLEC, 13.Steven LUSTICA, 14.Cameron WATSON (9.Sergio CIRIO), 18.Michael ZULLO, 21.Tarek ELRICH,
Subs not used: 20. Paul IZZO, 3.Nigel BOOGAARD Bookings: 5.Osama MALIK (12-), 8.ISAIAS (43-)