It’s a fixture which the Jets have dominated in recent years, and on Sunday afternoon they’ll look to continue some terrific F3 Derby form.
After a tough loss to take last weekend at home to Perth, a creative Newcastle Jets outfit will be busting to showcase their wares in Gosford.
In the mix to help the boys do just that is Roy O’Donovan, back from suspension and available for selection for the first time this season.
ROY: The Irishman is back
It’s the final match of the first round of matches for both clubs, who will have played every other Hyundai A-League team this season at full-time on Sunday.
The Mariners are currently experiencing their worst ever start to a Hyundai A-League season, but the Jets will have to be wary of a side determined to snap out of a bad slump.
Wellington Phoenix won out 2-0 last weekend over the Central Coast.
There’s one big in this Sunday: Roy O’Donovan.
The Irishman is back in the mix and will hope to be straight back into the goals. If he finds the back of the net twice against the Mariners, he’ll become the leading scorer in the fixture.
Angus Thurgate is also in the squad this weekend, and he might fancy his chances of making an impact in a potential cameo role off the bench.
Dimi Petratos and Ronny Vargas were immense last weekend against Perth without reward, but expect that to spur the pair on all the more.
From the coach
“The big positive for Roy [O’Donovan] is that he’s been banging in goals in training, and he’s keen because we’re eight games into the season and he’s desperate to get back out there,” assistant coach, Clayton Zane said.
“On the flip side, Kaine Sheppard has done a really good job the last two matches and has been a great addition to the team. He’s did particularly well in the Brisbane Roar game, so Ernie has some headaches there.
“It is a bit of a danger game, we don’t underestimate the rivalry between the two clubs. We know that when we play the Central Coast Mariners, they’re a different outfit to what turns out against other teams.
“That’s always in the back of our minds, and they’re desperate for their first win. They’re playing at home and would like nothing more than three points as a Christmas present.
“We know what we have to do, their strengths and weaknesses, but one thing you can say about the Central Coast is that they’re a backs-to-the-wall type team. They’re not conceding a ton of goals… they won’t be a pushover.”