Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Mariners Primed for Clash with Roar Rivalry Resumes; Mariners and Roar Have Plenty to Play for on Coast

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Mariners Primed for Clash with Roar Rivalry Resumes; Mariners and Roar Have Plenty to Play for on Coast

Article excerpt

By STEELE TAYLOR

FOOTBALL: The Brisbane Roar might have won the A-League grand final last campaign, but Central Coast coach Graham Arnold believed his team was the best in the country and said they had the trophy to prove it.

The Mariners snared the premier's plate after finishing the 2011-12 regular season on top of the ladder and, according to Arnold, that was what really mattered.

C[pounds sterling]I'm from the old school. I view the champion as the team which is on top after 27 rounds, not the team who wins three cup games at the end of the league in the finals series,C[yen] the 49-year-old said ahead of a pre-season clash with the Roar at Bokarina on Sunday.

C[pounds sterling]The first goal we strive for at the start of the season is to be the first past the post and get the premier's plate.

C[pounds sterling]We did that last year and we have to try and back that up this year.C[yen]

Arnold C[pounds sterling]favouredC[yen] the regular-season mantle because it rewarded consistency, and just a bit of ill-fortune would bring a side undone in the playoffs.

During the past couple of years, the Mariners' finals hopes have been dashed amid dramatic circumstances, with losses to Brisbane in the 2010-11 grand final and to Perth in the 2011-12 preliminary final.

C[pounds sterling]Twice the same results, by penalty shootout, with a couple of dubious decisions,C[yen] Arnold said.

C[pounds sterling]You can even see in the rugby league in the finals series some of the dodgy mistakes the referees make which can influence games.

C[pounds sterling]You need to have every bit of luck on your side to win those finals series games.C[yen]

While Arnold and his outfit enter the new season intent on defending the premier's plate, he admits there will be some lively challengers. …

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