It?s a long way to Mackay if you want to Rocky roll


The Cougars, based in Rockhampton and the Miners, from Mackay, will each challenge the Mariners within three days across the Queen?s Birthday holiday weekend, at which time the QSL competition is in recess for one-week.
First up for the Mariners will be the challenge of the Cougars on Friday, 6 June at Jardine Park, before the yellow and navy trek some 350 kilometres north to take on the Miners on Sunday, 8 June at Harrup Park.
“We?re very thankful to everyone at Rockhampton and Mackay for making this trip a reality, one that we?re certain will be most beneficial in conditioning our players ahead of the Hyundai A-League 2008/09 season,” said Mariners Executive Chairman Lyall Gorman.
“With our participation in the 2009 AFC Champions League to consider also, we are aware that this campaign will be our most arduous yet ? every facet of our preparation needs to be spot on.
“To that end, we?re delighted to have locked away such a beneficial trip to assist us with our preparations.
“Beyond the football side of this trip, we are also very conscious of our responsibility to promote the Hyundai A-League to all corners of the country and we look forward to meeting with the players and football officials of Rockhampton and Mackay during our stay.”
After seven rounds of Queensland?s ten-team top-tier competition, which is in its inaugural year, the Miners and the Cougars occupy seventh and eighth place respectively.
The Mariners have visited central Queensland on one occasion previously, when Lawrie McKinna?s charges took on a Rockhampton Select XI at Ryan Park on 30 April, 2005 ? one week out from the clubs first ever competitive match against the Newcastle Jets in the first round of the Club World Championship qualifying series.
The Mariners triumphed 4-0 on that occasion, with two goals coming from current Central Coast marksman Nik Mrdja, who is a chance to return to Queensland?s eighth most populous city again in June.
Definite starters for the Mariners for next months trip are new recruits Ahmad Elrich and Dylan Macallister, while Dean Heffernan, Mrdja and Matthew Osman, who are each nearing their return from long-term injuries, are possibilities for inclusion.
The Mariners kick off their pre-season program against the Central Coast Lightning at Pluim Park tomorrow, Tuesday, 20 May. Kick off is at 7.30pm.
Event Details
Capricorn Cougars vs. Central Coast Mariners
Jardine Park, Rockhampton
Friday, 6 June, Kick off 7.30pm
Whitsunday Miners vs. Central Coast Mariners
Harrup Park, Mackay
Sunday, 8 June, Kick off 6pm