Mariners off to Perth in search of Glory

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 20:  Teresa Polias of the Mariners is challenged by Lauren Colthorpe of the Roar during the round 9 W-League match between the Queensland Roar and the Central Coast Mariners at Ballymore on December 20, 2008 in Brisbane, Australia.  (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Despite the Mariners? healthy positioning on the League ladder, and their adversary?s heavy defeat at the hands of Brisbane Roar last weekend, the Central Coast Women are determined to avoid any complacency as the W-League heads towards the final stretch for the regular season.
Competition for starting spots this season has been fierce with coach Stephen Roche constantly posed with selection headaches ? every coach?s dream. One player who is determined to keep the pressure on her boss is feisty midfielder Teresa Polias.
Polias was instrumental in the Mariners? debut W-League season and kick-started the 2009 campaign with consecutive starts. The midfielder has since struggled to retain her spot, though her strong work ethic has her confident of a near return to the playing fields.
?Our group is really strong this season, and I know it is hard for our coach to select a team every week with everyone working as hard as we have been,? explained Polias.
?Our pre-season was great, we?ve had a couple of new players join the team ? especially the American girls that have lifted the bar and made competition that much more fierce ? and we are all feeling great; I guess our second-spot at the moment reflects this.?
The Mariners? completed the first-half of the ten-round competition with three wins, a draw and a loss for the second-placed standing, and the expectations inside the camp remain very high with five-rounds remaining.
Polias continued: ?We want to reach the semis this season.
?We didn?t do badly last season, though perhaps some inexperience cost us at important stages in the season. We want the top-four this time around.?
After sitting out the last two matches, Polias is confident she can force her way into the squad for this weekend?s trip to Perth.
?I have to keep working hard and make it difficult for the coach. I am feeling really good, and believe that I am training well, so I do hope to be part of the team on Saturday against the Glory.?
Perth Glory will have Matildas? striker Lisa De Vanna available again following her one-week sojourn in the grandstands due to suspension, as the Glory will be boosted by the fact they are unbeaten at home this season.
?We cannot underestimate this side, they have always been tough to play against and the big loss against Brisbane (Roar) last weekend will not mean anything in this match.
?We need to be ready from the word go, and keep up the intensity we have shown up until now.?
Polias is the ?engine? in the Mariners? midfield, with the 19-year-old already representing Australia at the Young Matildas level.
?My dream is to play for the Matildas. That is my goal, what we all really strive for.?
The inception of the W-League has offered Australian women with an immense chance to showcase their ability at a national level, and Polias has every intention of taking her chances for her football progression.
?It is fantastic to have this competition which provides a great opportunity to all the girls in the League. I think that the competition will get bigger ? it needs to as 10 matches are not many at all.
?Though it is exposure, and it does give us all a great chance to aim for a high level; with my main goal being the Matildas,? concluded Polias.
The Central Coast Mariners travel to Perth for the Westfield W-League Round 6 encounter against Perth Glory at Clipsal Stadium, 3.00pm local (6.00pm AEDT).
-By Joseph Carlucci