The Mariners, including recently announced signings Ahmad Elrich and Dylan MacAllister, will return to full-time training at Jubilee Park on Monday, 28 April, before taking on the Central Coast Lightning at Pluim Park on Tuesday, 20 May and Spirit FC at Christie Park on Wednesday, 28 May.
The Lightning, the Mariners? official feeder club, began their 2008 NSW Super League campaign last Saturday boosted by the inclusion of season three Mariners squad members Ian McAndrew and Bradley Porter, plus a host of 2007/08 Mariners Youth Academy graduates.
Spirit FC, who opposed the Mariners in their first ever trial match fixture in March 2005, also commenced the defence of their New South Wales Division 1 crown at the weekend and boast a line up that also includes several Mariners Youth Academy members and former Qantas Socceroo Jason van Blerk.
“It?s exciting to be already putting the final touches on our season four pre-season preparations and as of today?s announcement, we?re officially counting the days until we?re underway again,” said Mariners Executive Chairman Lyall Gorman.
“We?d like to thank both the Lightning and Spirit FC for agreeing to these fixtures, which provide our players with a most valuable hit out against stern opposition and beyond that, we look forward to mingling with our partners and supporters both locally and in the northern regions of Sydney.”
The Mariners have played their state wide counterparts twice previously and have recorded 2-0 wins on both occasions.
When the two sides first met at Pluim Park in June 2006, goals from Adam Kwasnik and Damien Brown earned the Mariners bragging rights before strikes from Matthew Osman and Nik Mrdja repeated the dose one year later.
The 28 May clash between the Mariners and Spirit FC marks the fourth occasion the two clubs have met at Christie Park ? the first of which was the first ever competitive hit out enjoyed by the yellow and navy, who interestingly wore white and maroon training gear that evening.
On that night, ten of the Mariners? current playing squad contributed to a 3-0 triumph for visitors, with local product Andrew Clark netting the Central Coast?s historic first ever goal.
Prior to season two, Kwasnik?s hat-trick saw the Mariners home 4-1, while on the eve of season three, Sasho Petrovski?s first goal in Central Coast colours gave the Mariners the lead before Spirit FC drew level and saw the match to the fulltime whistle at 1-1.
Central Coast Lightning vs. Central Coast Mariners
Pluim Park, Lisarow
Tuesday, 20 May, Kick off 7pm
Spirit FC vs. Central Coast Mariners
Christie Park, North Ryde
Wednesday, 28 May, Kick off 7.30pm