CENTRAL Coast Mariners youngster Mitchell Duke is relishing his new role in the team as the Mariners look to build on their win over Perth Glory last Saturday.
Duke, 22, scored his second goal of the season against the Glory with one of the last kicks of the game to seal an important 2-1 win for the Mariners.
The Mariners only landed in Western Australia a few hours before kick-off, a bold move from new head coach Phil Moss but one that paid off.
Duke says the goal was a big boost for the confidence of the reigning champions after having only won one of their opening six games of the season.
“It was very important,” Duke said. “We were waiting for that three-point feeling again.
“It’s good for the team and how we won it as well. It was a big confidence booster how we just grinded out the whole 95 minutes and got the three points.
“The goal also meant a lot for me personally and my confidence as well.
“I really wanted to get back on the scoresheet so I can hopefully continue to get some more in the back of the net.
“I’ve got a goal for myself this season to get in to the double digits so I want to keep scoring as many goals as I can every week.
“It was good for me to get back in to the goal-scoring ways.”
The forward has been used predominately as a winger so far this season and is relishing his new role in the squad.
“It’s different but Mossy has been quite good with the transition,” Duke said.
“It’s been a good transition for me and it’s been a good chance for me to test my versatility.
“Mossy’s been good and he doesn’t want me to lose those attacking ways and still wants me to be attacking from that position which is good.
“I’m getting better every week and understand the role better every week so I’m hoping not to do any mistakes this weekend and still have some goal-scoring opportunities. “
The Mariners face off against Melbourne Victory on Friday night at Bluetongue Stadium but Duke is confident they can continue on from their hard-fought win over the Glory.
“We always have started off slowly,” said Duke.
“We haven’t gone so slowly this far into the season so far, but we have had a number of changes in our team.
“I think come round 10 we should be hitting our best form. After that three points, and with that confidence, we’ll show that again this Friday night.
“We’re at home and we like to treat our home games as a fortress so we don’t want to lose any points at all.
“All we have to do is go for the win and keep our three points every week and keep going forward.
“We’ve had a bit of a slow start to far but I think we’re getting better and better every week.”