Wilkinson delighted with triumphant Central Coast Mariners

Central Coast Mariners captain Alex Wilkinson was delighted with his side after winning the opening game of the 2010/11 A-League season.

Central Coast Mariners captain Alex Wilkinson was delighted with his side after winning the opening game of the 2010/11 A-League season.

Wilkinson scored the only goal for the match from a set piece – his second in six seasons – to help the Mariners overcome new club Melbourne Heart 1-0 at AAMI Park and he was buoyant after one of their pre-season plans worked out.

“We’ve done a lot of work on set pieces both defensively and attacking so it’s great that it paid off and we defended the set pieces against quite well tonight. They put some great balls into the box and they had some big boys attacking them so I thought that was great by the boys,” he said.

Wilkinson added that it was a great reward for the team after putting in the hard yards during pre-season.

“It’s probably been the toughest pre-season, both physically and tactically, that I’ve had in the first six years. (Coach Graham Arnold) Arnie has come in with a wealth of experience, he’s worked under some fantastic coaches and I think he’s really enjoying being back doing all the day to day things with the boys. Structurally and tactically we’ve had some great sessions and a lot of sessions and you can see that paid off tonight.”