Coast's Mariner praises Wanderers

The Mariners’ Zac Anderson.
The Mariners’ Zac Anderson. Getty Images

CENTRAL Coast defender Zac Anderson says it will take "something special" for the Mariners to break their grand final hoodoo against Western Sydney today.

The former Caloundra and Maroochydore junior has played plenty of minutes in his first season with the Mariners this year and is expected to be named in coach Graham Arnold's side to face the Wanderers at Sydney's Allianz Stadium.

With experienced Mariners centre-back Pedj Bojic returning from injury, Anderson should start on the bench, as he did in Central Coast's preliminary final win over the Melbourne Victory last Sunday.

"It will be a really tight contest," Anderson said.

"It will take something special to get a result. That's what grand finals are all about."

It has been a dream season for Anderson after joining the club following last year's shock demise of Gold Coast United.

Set to turn 22 on April 30, he saluted the Wanderers for winning the premiership and making the grand final in their debut A-League season.

"The Wanderers have done a spectacular job this season," he said. "Tony Popovic, the coach, has formulated a squad that is hungry and determined to prove something.

"They've been a really tough team all season to break down."

The Mariners are chasing their first championship after three previous grand final losses.

Brisbane beat them in last season's showpiece game.

Watching from the sideline today will be Western Sydney's injured back-up goalie Jerrad Tyson, a former Fire player. He joined the club after Football Federation Australia revoked Gold Coast United's licence.

Anderson said: "We've had a bit of friendly banter throughout the year. We've enjoyed a friendly rivalry."

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