CENTRAL Coast coach Graham Arnold confirmed on Sunday that New Zealand international midfielder Michael McGlinchey will skipper his side in the Club’s final match of 2012 at home to Perth Glory on Monday evening.
McGlinchey has gathered a wealth of footballing experiences since he signed for the yellow and navy from Glasgow Celtic in 2009, and Arnold believes the responsibility of captaining the Mariners will have a positive effect on the diminutive Kiwi’s play against the purple-whites.
“I think Mikey is one of the best players in the A-League,” Arnold said following training on Sunday.
“He’s been to the World Cup, to the Olympics, he knows what pressure football is about. We need a little bit extra out of Mikey tomorrow night so hopefully the armband can help.”
McGlinchey is elated by Arnold’s decision to name him captain in the absence of the team’s regular leader John Hutchinson, who will be missing due to suspension. The team’s vice-captain Patrick Zwaanswijk will also miss the contest due to a groin complaint, as will attackers Daniel McBreen and Tomas Rogic (both suspended).
“I don’t really know what to say,” McGlinchey admitted. “It’s a great honour to be the stand-in captain for Hutch (Hutchinson).”
“I’ve been at the Club four years now and hopefully it can add to my game.”
As captain, it will be McGlinchey’s responsibility to guide a somewhat fresh-looking Mariners team around the Bluetongue Stadium surface against Ian Ferguson’s Glory side.
Indeed, Arnold outlined that it had always been his intent to rotate his squad throughout the busy, fixture-filled festive period, however the suspensions and injuries his team has sustained recently had made his selection task simpler.
“I was planning on making changes anyway to get some fresh legs into the side,” Arnold said. “The forced changes have made it easier for me.”
“Adam Kwasnik will come in. It’s time for Kwas. He’s had a few injuries and he’s a fan favourite here, and he’s always shown in the past that he’s a goalscorer. He’s looked sharp at training the last couple of weeks and he’s been eager for a chance, so he’ll get his opportunity.”
Arnold added that other experienced and capable professionals including Adriano Pellegrino and Oliver Bozanic were also likely to feature.
“Pelles (Pellegrino) has been a great pro,” Arnold said. “He’s had some tough times here with the fact that he hasn’t started that often and he’s been on the bench at times. But he brings great energy to the team and I am sure against his old team he will have a good impact.”
“Oli Bozanic has had a frustrating start to the season because of a knee injury in the off-season. He has got great pedigree and he has shown what he can do in the past. He knows what his job is.”
Current ticket sales indicate a crowd in excess of 15,000 could converge on Bluetongue Stadium for the New Year’s Eve blockbuster, and both Arnold and McGlinchey acknowledged playing Glory on the final day of 2012 represents a tough challenge.
“Perth are a difficult team to play against, and we’ve got a lot of respect for Perth Glory because they’ve got some wonderful players in their side. Any team that has Shane Smeltz in their side is danger,” Arnold said.
“They’re a dangerous side. Every time we play them it is a tight game. We know what to expect from them, they’re pretty physical,” McGlinchey added.
Central Coast Mariners vs. Perth Glory - Hyundai A-League Round 14
Monday 31 December, 2012
Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford
Tickets: Please CLICK HERE to purchase tickets to the match.
Twitter: Join the match conversation on Twitter. The official match hashtag is #CCMvPG
Referee: Strebre Delovski
TV: Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1HD and Sky Sports 2
Central Coast Mariners Squad: 1.Mathew Ryan (Gk), 3.Joshua Rose, 4.Pedj Bojic, 5.Zachary Anderson, 8.Adriano Pellegrino, 9.Bernie Ibini, 11.Oliver Bozanic, 13.Brent Griffiths, 14.Michael McGlinchey (c), 15.Brad McDonald, 16.Trent Sainsbury, 17.Anthony Caceres, 18.Nick Montgomery, 19.Mitchell Duke, 20.Justin Pasfield (Gk), 21.Mile Sterjovski, 23.Adam Kwasnik, 24.Hayden Morton *three to be omitted
Ins: 4.Pedj Bojic (returns from suspension), 8.Adriano Pellegrino, 11.Oliver Bozanic, 13.Brent Griffiths, 15.Brad McDonald, 17.Anthony Caceres (all promoted)
Outs: 2.Daniel McBreen (suspended – 1 game), 7.John Hutchinson (suspended – 1 game), 10.Tomas Rogic (suspended – 3 games)
Unavailable: 6.Patrick Zwaanswijk (groin – 1 week), 22.James Oates (ankle – 2 months)
Perth Glory Squad: 1.Danny Vukovic (gk), 3.Bas van den Brink, 4.Billy Mehmet, 5.Steve Pantelidis, 6.Nick Ward, 7.Jacob Burns (c), 8.Dean Heffernan 9.Shane Smeltz, 10.Liam Miller, 11.Adrian Zahra, 12.Ryo Nagai, 13.Travis Dodd, 14.Steven McGarry, 17.Chris Harold, 19.Josh Risdon, 21.Scott Jamison, 30 Lewis Italiano (gk) *two to be omitted
Ins: 5.Steve Pantelidis (promoted), 13.Travis Dodd ( returns from injury), 21.Scott Jamieson (returns from suspension)
Outs: 23.Michael Thwaite (calf – 3-4 weeks)
Unavailable: 16.Evan Berger (hamstring – indefinite)