The 10th instalment of the A-League will get underway for the Central Coast Mariners on Saturday October 11 with a massive F3 Derby. With the potential of former Mariners Marcos Flores lining up for a Jets side that will look to bounce back from poor seasons under new manager Phil Stubbins. This will be the only F3 Derby in Gosford for the season with the other two games to be up at Hunter Stadium.
The men in yellow go on to face Wellington at home on the 18th October, then 2 massive clashes against both Sydney teams away on Saturday 25 October (SFC) and Sunday 2 November (WSW) which will surely bring plenty of feeling. The Wanderers becoming a rival for the Mariners since their introduction into the league two seasons ago, while the traditional rivalry with Sydney FC has some added spice with former Mariners coach Graham Arnold and former Mariner Bernie Ibini clashing with their former team at a Allianz Stadium blockbuster.
Round 5 sees the yellow and navy back at home against Perth Glory on Sunday 9 November with Glory hoping to be a different proposition from last season’s wooden spoon side with some key signings including Youssouf Hersi from Western Sydney and Ruben Zadkovich heading west from Newcastle.
Round 6 sees the Mariners travel south to Melbourne on Sunday 16 November to face the rejuvenated and new Melbourne City side whose jerseys will still be fresher than a cool mint. It will also see the finest player to play in the A-League, David Villa who brings a wealth of class to a team who will be expecting to improve immensely under a new name and new ownership.
Round 7 will see Adelaide United come to town on 23 November with revenge on their minds after former Mariner Bernie Ibini’s lone goal in the elimination final last finals series which saw them being knocked out of the A-League last season.
Round 8 is another one to mark down in the calendar for Mariners fans. A trip up the M1 (F3) to Newcastle to face the Jets on Sunday 30 November. 8 rounds into the season usually sees teams starting to find their feet and nearing their best form so this one should be very interesting.
Round 9 will take place on February 2 with a trip to Victoria to face the Victory at AAMI Park.
Round 10 is also against the Victory on Friday 5 December with this game slated to take place at North Sydney Oval. The signing of Besart Berisha for the Victory will definitely have been judged by this time with the Albanian who could be firing them in for his new club, or come under criticism for not finding his feet with his new team yet. The one and only game in North Sydney last season saw the Mariners run out 1-0 winners over the Phoenix with right back Storm Roux scoring the only goal for the match and his Mariners career.
Round 11 the Mariners will take a trip over the ditch on Saturday 13 December to face a Wellington side also looking to have a better season than last. The recent Michael McGlinchey fiasco will be a factor in this one as we still aren’t sure which side he will be playing for at this time.
Round 12 the men in yellow are over in Western Australia to face the Glory on 20 December. The travel may be a factor in this one with the yellow and navy going from Wellington one week to Perth the next.
Round 13 sees the Brisbane Roar travel down on 27 December with this one surely to be juicy with the Roar definitely being the most consistent club over the last few seasons. Mariners usually find something extra for their Queensland opposition with the Roar trying to erase a 2-0 loss to the Central Coast in Round 27 last season.
Round 14 takes place on New Year’s Day to the opposing of Mariners fans who feel hard done by with the taking away of the traditional New Year’s Eve game being played in Adelaide this season. A great rivalry has developed between the men from Western Sydney and the men from the Central Coast. This game will set the New Year alight.
Round 15 sees the first visit of the newly named Melbourne City on 4 January. By this time, David Villa would’ve departed and it will be interesting to see where they will be on the ladder. The Mariners will also look to keep up some consistent home form as we all know your home form is vital to doing well.
Round 16 is arguably the biggest game at Central Coast Stadium all season. Sydney FC visits on Saturday 24 January with the returns of Graham Arnold and Bernie Ibini to their old stomping ground. The reception for both men will be interesting. Sydney fans will be hoping their team have turned their form around from previous seasons against their NSW rivals, while the Mariners will look to continue their solid form over Sydney from previous seasons, with the Mariners taking three points from the men from Moore Park all three times they played last season.
Round 17 will see a first for the A-League. Adelaide comes to visit the Mariners, on Saturday 7 February, but this time the game is slated to be at Brookvale Oval. The home of the Manly Sea Eagles in the NRL will for the first time play host to a top tier Australian football league match.
Round 18 the Roar travel back down to Central Coast Stadium on 13 February which will surely be another hefty test for the men in yellow and navy.
Round 19 the boys from the Central Coast travel back down to Sydney on 21 February for the usual big clash at Allianz Stadium.
Round 20 will be the final F3 Derby which will be back up the M1 in Newcastle on 28 February. Hunter Stadium will play host to another fiery clash between the traditional rivals.
Round 21 sees the second visit of Melbourne City on 8 March to Central Coast Stadium with the Mariners looking to keep up home form over the newly named side.
Round 22 will see the Mariners travel to South Australia to face Adelaide United on 12 March. Adelaide will definitely be confident with the men in yellow not performing at all well in the city of churches last season.
Round 23 sees the return of a Perth Glory side on 22 March with their position on the ladder at this time would be interesting to know right now.
Round 24 the Central Coast goes down to Melbourne to face the Victory on 27 March.
Round 25 the men in yellow go north to Queensland to face the Roar on 2 April. Games at Suncorp between these two sides always deliver.
Round 26 will see the first visit of the Western Sydney Wanderers on 11 April with plenty of noise surely to be made by both sets of fans.
Round 27 will see the men in yellow and navy close the season with a home match against the Phoenix on 17 April.
As fans of the A-League, we all know absolutely anything can happen throughout the season. That’s our league’s strong suit; its unpredictability sets it apart from other leagues. While the quality may be down, we all just love that we have our own league and our own teams to support. Good luck to all teams next season, and may the best team win the league.Google+