Both Boogaard and Heffernan missed the Mariners? opening trial match of the new season against the Central Coast Lightning last Tuesday through representative commitments and injury respectively.
Boogaard, having today returned from a successful Intercontinental Cup campaign with the Qantas Under 23?s in Malaysia, is a chance to make an appearance at Christie Park, while Heffernan, who has not played since breaking his leg against Sydney FC in December of last year, is available for selection.
The key duo, who were two of the Mariners strongest performers throughout season three, will be joined at Christie Park by a host of triallists, as was the case when the Mariners were held to a 0-0 stalemate by the Lightning at Pluim Park a week ago.
Included amongst the triallist contingent are Mariners Youth Academy graduates Nathan Moseley and Brady Smith, as well as NSW Premier League starlets David D?Apuzzo of APIA Leichhardt and Nathan Sherlock of Sydney Olympic.
Prior to the main game, a selection of Mariners National Youth League hopefuls will play against Spirit FC?s Under 20?s side, with Mariners Development Manager Alex Tobin one of many that will be watching on with interest.
“It?s very important for the triallists to perform in these types of games, you can watch kids train and you can see a lot in training, but you really don?t know whether they will sink or swim until they actually play in a game situation,” said Tobin.
“We?re progressing quite well, we?re perhaps ahead of where we need to be in some sense, we?ve started pre-season reasonably early and the players have adapted well, they?re a very fit group at the moment and getting fitter all the time.
“It?s a long way to the start of the regular Hyundai A-League season, but the boys are very well prepared at the moment.”
Tomorrow?s match up at Christie Park marks the fourth occasion the two clubs have met in friendly fixtures.
Spirit FC were the first club to ever oppose the Mariners in any type of fixture ? that match taking on place on Wednesday, 30 March 2005.
The Mariners claimed a 3-0 victory on that occasion with goals coming from Andrew Clark, Boogaard and Adam Kwasnik.
Kwasnik was again on the mark one year later ? slotting three past the Spirit in addition to Stewart Petrie?s opener to secure a 4-1 triumph for the yellow and navy.
Most recently, Spirit FC achieved a famous result when holding the Mariners to a 1-1 draw, with Sasho Petrovski?s first goal for the Central Coast after joining the club from Sydney FC being cancelled out some twenty minutes from fulltime by Spirit FC player Tim Simpson.
“We?re very much looking forward to it ? early in the season you want to get in as many games as possible leading up to the regular season,” said Tobin.
“We still have a number of injury issues and players who aren?t quite there in terms of coming back, so our line up will be similar as to what it was against the Lightning which is perhaps not full strength but gives plenty of players an opportunity to cement a spot and to prove to the coaches that they?re good enough.”
Central Coast Mariners Squad
1. Matthew Trott (gk), 2. David D?Apuzzo, 4. Ian McAndrew, 5. Bradley Porter, 7. John Hutchinson, 8. Dean Heffernan, 9. Nathan Moseley, 11. Damien Brown, 12. Brady Smith, 13. Nathan Sherlock, 15. Andrew Clark, 16. Nigel Boogaard, 17. Ben Glachan, 18. Alex Wilkinson, 19. Adam Kwasnik, 21. Ahmad Elrich, 22. Sasho Petrovski, 27. Dylan Macallister
The Mariners continue their pre-season trial match program against reigning NSW State League 1 Champions Spirit FC at Christie Park tomorrow, Wednesday, 28 May. Kick off is at 7.30pm.