Former Australian national team head and assistant coach Graham Arnold is loving being back involved in club football. Arnold has spent the past ten years or so with the Socceroos but is not at the helm of the Central Coast Mariners and admits he is enjoying the routine of it all.
''Being back in club football is immensely enjoyably, mainly because it's what I've always enjoyed doing - being on the field and working with players and doing actual coaching,'' he said yesterday. ''You can't compare it to sitting in offices, airport lounges, hotels and scouting oppositions, all things I did for 10 years. That was my life. Now I'm really happy to be at the Mariners because this is a very stable club with great people and a good bunch of players.''
Tonight, the Mariners take on new club Melbourne Heart whom they defeated 1-0 in Round 1 but Arnold expects a much tougher contest at Bluetongue Stadium.
''I still think they can finish top two or three. They've just got so many good players to call upon, and they're a much tougher proposition now. They've got six or so Socceroos representatives, a string of Young Socceroos and then a Dutch international in [Gerald] Sibon. It's an incredible gathering of talent," he added.
''But it will be interesting to see how they handle the travel. It's not easy to come to the Coast, and we've made a commitment to turning Bluetongue Stadium into a fortress.''