Two Sky Blues players who know the Central Coast Mariners better than most, Pedj Bojic and Bernie Ibini, provide their thoughts on the Gosford club ahead of our clash against their former side on Sunday 2nd November at Allianz Stadium (kick off 5pm).
Bojic represented the Mariners for five seasons between 2008 and 2013, making over 120 appearances for the club. He became a key figure in then Head Coach Graham Arnold’s side with his marauding runs up the right hand touchline. He earned himself a call up to the Foxtel A-League All Stars, in 2013, before joining Sydney FC at the start of the 2013/14 Hyundai A-League season.
Bernie Ibini progressed through the youth ranks of the Mariners and remained at the club for four seasons before moving to Shanghai Dongya. Ibini returned to the Mariners on loan last season to bring his total appearances for the club to 77, before joining Sydney FC at the start of the 2014/15 season.
Thoughts on the Mariners so far this season?
PB –The start of the season has been a bit tricky for them, but it’s only round 3 so I’m sure they’ll be growing week by week.
BI – They’ve had a win and a loss so they’ve started reasonably well. They had a week off last week so I’m pretty sure they’ll ready to go this weekend against us.
What has impressed you the most about them so far?
PB – The fact that they still have that team culture together and the togetherness to work for one another.
BI – They got a late winner in their first game so we’ll have to play right until the 95th minute against them so it’ll be a very tough game.
Who are their danger men and why?
PB – Anthony Caceres. He’s a good ball player, he can see things and has good vision and his link up play is very good.
BI – Mitchell Duke for his work rate. He’s a very hard worker who can get on the scoresheet. Nick Fitzgerald as well and Anthony Caceres.
Are there any young up and comers to watch out for?
PB – Glen Trifiro. He’s a good young player who will come off the bench and he’s very tidy on the ball.
BI – I think if Caceres and Fitzgerald get more game time this season I’m sure they’ll be very influential this season.
How do you think Phil Moss will approach this game?
PB – I’m sure he’ll approach it just as normal as any other game. Yes there’s a bit of rivalry between him and former coach Graham Arnold but I’m sure he’ll try and treat it like a normal game as much as possible.
BI – I’m not sure to be honest because they’ll know Arnie’s tactics pretty well and we’ll know their tactics pretty well so I’m not too sure how they’ll take the game but it will be very interesting to see.
You’ve been in the playing camp with them before. What’s the mood like ahead of a match against Sydney FC?
PB – It’s always a big occasion. Everyone wants to play against Sydney FC and beat Sydney, especially on their home turf. It’s a massive game to prepare for and they’ll be coming out to try and beat us.
BI – They’ll definitely be very excited and they’ll be raring to go with that week off they had so they’ll be very fresh and ready.
How are you expecting Sunday’s game to unfold?
PB – Three points to us.
BI – I think we’ll get the win. It will definitely be a tough game but I’m sure if we play to our structures and play as well as we can we will get the three points.
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