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Amini thanks Perez for guidance in debut Central Coast season

Central Coast Mariners young gun Mustafa Amini has heaped praise on Argentine import Patricio Perez for helping him enjoy a solid debut A-League season.

The 17-year old has made 20 appearances for the Mariners this term to become one of the hottest prospects in Australian football at the moment.

Ahead of Sunday's Grand Final clash with the Brisbane Roar, Amini took the time to thank Perez as well as coach Graham Arnold for making his transition from the youth league to the senior team so smooth.

"Not to mention my coach [Graham Arnold] for giving me a contract and a chance to play but I have learnt so much from Patricio," Amini said.

"I look up to him and I want to be like him one day."

Perez is currently in doubt for the Suncorp Stadium decider and will undergo a fitness test on Friday and although his absence would mean a start for Amini, the youngster wants the star man to take the lead.

"I think we should do all right but I feel our chances will be better if Patricio plays," Amini added. "He's a great player. He's played with the best in Argentina like [Lionel] Messi and [Carlos] Tevez."

And Amini once again thanked Arnold for giving him his senior Mariners chance this season whilst keeping a lid on the team's Grand Final chances.

"I found it very different physically but thanks to Clarkey [Andrew Clark] he got me fitter and stronger," he added.

"But if it hadn't been for Arnie [Arnold], I may not have been seen in the A-League yet.

"I was just happy to have a contract and train with the first-grade boys.

"He has always had the confidence to throw me in when Patricio wasn't there.

"There are not too many people who give us a chance of beating Brisbane.

"They are a great side and have been great all year.

"But no one should underestimate us."

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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