Perez nets in Central Coast Mariners bounce match

Argentine import Patricio Perez was on target as the Central Coast Mariners won a behind-closed-doors bounce match 1-0 over the Young Socceroos.

Argentine import Patricio Perez was on target as the Central Coast Mariners won a behind-closed-doors bounce match 1-0 over the Young Socceroos.

With the A-League bye coming up this weekend, the Mariners hosted the Australian U20s at Bluetongue Stadium in a warm-up match as the national youngsters prepare for the upcoming AFC U19 championships.

Mariners coach Graham Arnold said it was a good hitout, not only for the Young Socceroos but also for some of his players who have been lacking game time recently.

“It was not only good for (Young Socceroos coach) Jan (Versleijen), it was good for us as well, because we have a lot of guys like Chris Doig, Adam Kwasnik, Nik Mrdja and Brad Porter who haven’t had much game time, as well as Perez, so to get them out of the field and 90 minutes under their belt is good,” said Arnold.

“Overall it was a good hitout. We’re happy with the workout, it was good for a training session.

“It’s good to keep momentum going. When you have the bye you can go one or two ways, you can either have a break and give the players time to refresh with some down time but we have North Queensland next week, it’s an extremely important game that we have to get three points out of.

“We’ve got seven points from nine in the three games we’ve played at home, I’ve stressed to the playing group how important home games are so if we can get three points at home next week it will be great for us.”