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Mariners boss supports owner’s right to move games

Central Coast Mariners coach Phil Moss says his club’s owner should have the freedom to decide whether to host a specified number of games away from Gosford each season as part of his investment into the club.
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The Mariners will play their second A-League game in Sydney’s northern suburbs on Friday night when they host Melbourne Victory at North Sydney Oval in what is part of their strategic push down the Pacific Highway.

Club owner Mike Charlesworth has long been eager to move the club into new markets in the northern beaches and north shore by hosting more home game each season at North Sydney Oval and Brookvale Oval while maintaining a footprint on Central Coast.

Friday night’s game at the historic ground is the first of two Mariners games in Sydney this season with the club scheduled to play Adelaide United at Brookvale Oval on February 7.

The club claims 20 per cent of their membership in Sydney’s northern suburbs and the games coincide with the establishment of a Mariners academy aligned with Northbridge Football Club.

Moss preferred to focus on football rather than weighing into the debate but supports the broader concept of A-League owners having more control over their football investments.

“If the owner sees fit to tap into the north shore of Sydney to play some games here than that’s totally his prerogative, he’s put a lot of money into this football club out of his own pocket.

“Whatever decision he makes is the decision we live with and our job is to win football games whether that’s on the Central Coast, North Sydney or in Brookvale,” Moss said.

The club reassured fans of their commitment to the Central Coast, which is also the preferred regular home ground of the players.

“Our home is Central Coast,” captain John Hutchinson said.

“We are Central Coast, our stadium is in Gosford and the more games we can play there, the better. But we understand that we need to play a game or so every season away from Central Coast Stadium but we love playing there.”

North Sydney Oval came under criticism from Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat over its hard surface and Mariners sources suggested Muscat asked his close friend, Mark Bosnich, to inspect the field on his behalf on Wednesday.

The condition of the playing surface appeared much softer than expected with the impact of the cricket pitch lessened, giving Hutchinson no concerns of the field.

“The field looks amazing, obviously the cricket pitch doesn’t look too bad and the grass looks fantastic but, as we’ve alluded to, our home is Central Coast and our home is Central Coast stadium but to come here is a fantastic opportunity,” Hutchinson said.

South Korean Kim Seung-yong has been out of the Mariners’ squad in recent weeks and linked with a return to his native country for personal reasons but Moss quashed those suggestions and said he is likely to play against the Victory on Friday night, either starting or from the bench.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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