Sydney’s final countdown begins against the Mariners

With the minor Premiership and a place in the Grand Final safely secured, Sydney FC’s National Youth League side will wrap up the regular season on Valentine's Day when it plays its final home-and-away match, on the road against the Central Coast Mariners.


With the minor Premiership and a place in the Grand Final safely secured, Sydney FC-s National Youth League side will wrap up the regular season on Valentine's Day when it plays its final home-and-away match, on the road against the Central Coast Mariners.

The junior Blues have been the dominant force in the inaugural Youth League competition, winning 12 of their 17 outings so far. Last week they reversed a mini late-season slump by smashing the Newcastle Jets 7-1, and they-re determined to build on that performance this weekend in their last start before the season decider.

“Finishing on a winning note is something that everyone wants to do,” said Sydney keeper, Vedran Janjetovic. “Everyone-s looking forward to tomorrow-s game - we-re just going to use it as a practice for the final.”

While the results have consistently flowed Sydney-s way since the start of the season, it hasn-t been all smooth sailing for Steve O-Connor-s young charges. In all, thirty-six players have pulled on the Sky Blue during the course of the campaign, with Janjetovic the only one to line up in every match.

“It was disruptive, but it-s always going to happen,” explained the young custodian. “Our guys are good enough to play in the first team so they deserve a chance. We found it a bit hard to cope with new players coming every week but we did ok.”

Saturday-s game against the Central Coast will be the last chance for the full-strength Sky Blues to work on recapturing their combinations before facing either Adelaide or Queensland in the Grand Final in just over a week-s time. They-re planning to make the most of the opportunity.

“Having everyone back is a big bonus, a big boost, and last week (against Newcastle) you could see the potential that we have,” continued Janjetovic. “Players haven-t played together for so long so we-ve been a bit rusty but we won the minor premiership and now going into the final - hopefully we can wrap that up and that-d be a dream year, you couldn-t ask for anything else.”

The round-21 clash with the Mariners kicks off at Pluim Park, near Gosford at 5pm.