Confident Sydney sets sights on Coast clash

They mightn’t have bagged any goals, but John Kosmina was still full of praise for his young players after they steered Sydney FC to an invaluable point against the Melbourne Victory.

They mightn-t have bagged any goals, but John Kosmina was still full of praise for his young players after they steered Sydney FC to an invaluable point against the Melbourne Victory in the opening round of the Hyundia A-League at the weekend.

The likes of Popovic, Aloisi, Brosque and Musialik were all watching on from the stands, but rookies Chris Payne and Shannon Cole played their part in helping Sydney claim its first points of the campaign in a match Kosmina described as “a good battle for us”.

“It says a lot for the players that actually played tonight, probably more than the blokes who are coming back,” Kosmina said following the nil all draw. “It augers well for the future.”

The Sydney manager admitted that occasion might have got the better of his team in the first half of Saturday-s clash, as the home side struggled to find its feet in defence.

He labelled goalkeeper Clint Bolton as “exceptional”, saving the side on several occasions before the fullbacks found their feet.

“The boys were nervous. Jacob Timpano didn-t train yesterday, he had a jab and painkiller before the game...we couldn-t practice a lot this week with Jakey and it was also his first game back in two years, so it was a big occasion for him,” said Kosmina. “We managed to sort things out in the end.”

With the club-s debutants gaining invaluable experience on the A-League pitch, and experienced pros returning from injury, suspension and Olympic duty, Kossie believes he is now left with “an embarrassment of riches” heading into this-weekend-s meeting with the Mariners.

Despite the tide of talent rushing back into the team, Cole is likely to keep his place in Sydney-s starting side, thanks to his stunning debut against the Victory.

“He-s confident, nothing much fazes him,” Kosmina assessed. “He steps up for the free kicks, corners. He-ll grow in stature with a bit more time and he-ll get more time. When you got someone that can take dead balls like that you got to find a spot on the field for him somewhere.”

Sydney and the Central Coast will do battle in Gosford this Saturday, with the game getting underway at Bluetongue Stadium at 7pm.