Mariners in Seoul ahead of ACL test
The team spent Saturday en route to the Korean capital where they will meet K-League Classic heavyweights FC Seoul on Tuesday.
Mariners assistant coach Wayne O’Sullivan said no stone would be left unturned as the Gosford outfit prepares for their opening day assignment in what will be their fourth appearance in Asia’s club showpiece.
“Obviously with the turnaround from the Phoenix match it is vitally important that the players do all the right things from now until game day,” O’Sullivan said.
“Under the guidance of Tim (Knight) and Nealo (Andrew Nealon), and the rest of the guys from the medical department they are in good hands.
“We’ve got two training days so we’ll work hard over the next two days to obviously put some stuff in place for the game and do some video with JC (John Crawley) and the gaffer (Phil Moss). The boys will work through some of that on the training field."
While the Mariners will be making their third consecutive ACL appearance, 2014 marks the first time O’Sullivan has been directly involved with the competition.
The former Central Coast, Cardiff City and Plymouth Argyle player said he is relishing the opportunity to be a part of the top level of club football in Asia.
“I am very excited to be part of the AFC Champions League,” he said. “It’s a huge competition and if you look at some of the footage from the final last year you see how massive it is.
“The two teams that were involved in the final (Guangzhou Evergrande and FC Seoul) are mammoth teams, so for Central Coast Mariners to be competing at that level is obviously a fantastic achievement.”
O’Sullivan added that having two players with extensive knowledge of FC Seoul and Korean football in the club’s squad should assist the coaching staff.
“I think it’s fabulous that we have Kim Seung-yong and Eddy Bosnar because it can be very difficult to access reliable information,” he said.
“Right now they (FC Seoul) are not in competition but they’ve played some pre-season games recently, so with Kim’s and obviously Bosnar’s input hopefully we’ve got a bit more information than we might have had in the past.”
Kim will come up against one of his former K-League Classic clubs should he take to the field against the red & blacks at the Seoul World Cup Stadium on Tuesday.
Bosnar, however, will be forced to share his knowledge with the coaching staff from afar after some back soreness following Friday's defeat prevented him from travelling with the squad.