A-League: ‘Normal’ week for Central Coast Mariners

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Treble talk is off limits in Gosford this week as the Central Coast Mariners attempt to avoid the hype surrounding the chance to become the first A-League club to secure three pieces of silverware in one season.

Having already secured the A-League premiership and AFC Cup in their 2023-24 campaign, the Mariners can create history by clinching the championship with a win over Melbourne Victory in Saturday night’s grand final at Industree Group Stadium.

The Victory claimed three honours – the A-League premiership and championship, and the Australia Cup – in 2015, however their Cup win wasn’t in the same season as the A-League double.

Sydney FC achieved a similar feat in 2017, again across two seasons rather than securing three trophies in one campaign.

Mariners striker Ryan Edmondson said his side was solely focused on winning back-to-back championships instead of contemplating what another grand final success would mean in terms of the club’s overall season haul.

“For the club and the community, (the treble) would be massive but we’re a squad that doesn’t get lost on that,” the 23-year-old Englishman said.

“For us it’s not about that. We’ve won two trophies already, and yeah that’s fine, but that’s in the past for us.

“We’ve got one more to play for and that’ll be done on Saturday, and our full focus is on that. It’s not about winning the treble, it’s not about the AFC Cup or anything like that, it’s just about winning on Saturday, and focusing on the job we’ve got at hand.

“The boys are exactly the same as every other week. We try to do our best to keep it as normal as possible and we’ll continue to do that.

“The mood in the camp’s always bright. We keep it jolly, we keep it nice, laughy and jokey, so we’re looking forward to it.”

Edmondson joined the Mariners in January from English lower league club Carlisle United, and has scored five goals in 21 appearances in all competitions for Central Coast.

“The lads and staff are so welcoming,” he said soon after joining the club.

“The things that go on behind the scenes that people don’t see are a true testament to the club. They’ve made me feel a part of the family straight away.”

The Mariners have met the Victory three times this season. Two of the games finished in draws, with Central Coast winning the other clash 1-0 at AAMI Park in February.

“We’ve got 100 per cent belief that we can (win the grand final),” Edmondson said.

“Don’t get me wrong, against Melbourne it’s going to be a tough game – it always is against them.

“They’ve got a lot of good players … that have just been outstanding, but we’ve got full belief that we can deal with that, play to our strengths, do what we do, and come away with the win.”

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