Colosimo Anticipating Exciting Contest With Mariners

Melbourne Heart FC Captain Simon Colosimo believes his side is well equipped to play quality football against the Central Coast Mariners during Thursday night’s clash at AAMI Park.

Melbourne Heart FC Captain Simon Colosimo believes his side is well equipped to play quality football against the Central Coast Mariners during Thursday night-s clash at AAMI Park.

With the club-s Hyundai A-League debut imminent, Colosimo said the pristine surface at the rectangular stadium will allow both sides to play an attractive game.

“The strength of our team is going to be our ability to move the ball quickly," Colosimo said.

“Especially at home, the surface is top notch. I can already say now the PFA do a pitch rating system, I think AAMI Park's going to come first ... I'm not being biased, it really is brilliant.”

Building a team from scratch, one of the major challenges facing Heart during its inaugural season is to develop into a cohesive unit.

But Colosimo said his side possesses the nous and maturity needed to overcome that obstacle.

“We're all professionals, we've all been at new environments ... we all know our jobs, we know what we need to do,” he said.

“We've worked on it, the coaching staff has been stringent in everything we've done and I think we're ready.”

Head Coach John van ‘t Schip said he hopes to field an imposing side for Heart-s opening clash, with Socceroo Josip Skoko set to play his first professional club match on Australian soil.

“I'm confident that tomorrow I'll have the best XI I can out there. That doesn't say that's the best XI for the season,” he said.

“The balance of the team is important. Eleven good players don't always make a good team. We have to see if we can prepare the team the right way.”

With Central Coast recruiting strongly during the off-season, van ‘t Schip has no doubt the Mariners will pose a major threat, and are capable of denying Heart a debut victory.

“The Mariners from what I've heard and what I've seen, are a very competitive team with a good fighting spirit. They have a new coach as well (in Graham Arnold) who will bring new energy to the team. I know him quite well,” he said.

Match Details Melbourne Heart FC Vs Central Coast Mariners Thursday 5 August AAMI Park, Melbourne Kick-off: 7:30pm

Squads

Melbourne Heart squad: 1. Clint BOLTON (gk), 2. Michael MARRONE, 3. Brendan HAMILL, 4. Simon COLOSIMO (c), 5. Michael BEAUCHAMP, 6. Matthew THOMPSON, 7. Rutger WORM, 9. Gerald SIBON, 10. Wayne SRHOJ, 11. ALEX TERRA, 12. Peter ZOIS (gk), 17. Jason HOFFMAN, 19. Eli BABALJ, 20. Josip SKOKO, 21. Kliment TASESKI, 22. Nick KALMAR, 23. Dean HEFFERNAN, 24. Aziz BEHICH *three to be omitted*

Unavailable: John ALOISI (Hamstring - 4 weeks), Kristian SARKIES (Leg - Indefinite), 14.Kamal IBRAHIM (not selected), 18.Ante TOMIC (not selected)

Central Coast Mariners squad: 1. Jess VANSTRATTAN (gk), 2 Daniel MCBREEN, 4. Pedj BOJIC, 5. Brad PORTER, 6. Patrick ZWAANSWIJK, 7. John HUTCHINSON, 8. Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 9. Nik MRDJA, 10. Patricio PEREZ, 11. Oliver BOZANIC, 12. Matthew LEWIS, 14. Michael McGLINCHEY, 18. Alex WILKINSON (c), 19. Matt SIMON, 20. Mathew RYAN (gk), 23. Adam KWASNIK. *one to be omitted*

Unavailable: 3. Joshua ROSE (ineligible), 15. Marc WARREN, 16. Trent SAINSBURY, 17. Chris DOIG, 21. Sam GALLAGHER, 22. Mustafa AMINI (not selected)