Central Coast Mariners and Newcastle Jets face off in the 42nd F3 Derby to kick off the 2017-18 A-League season. Both clubs have missed the finals in the past three seasons so both have recruited well to change that. Before they meet in Gosford let’s run through some of the interesting stats about the derby.
- There have been 41 editions of the F3 Derby in the A-League. The Mariners have the upper hand with 14 wins to Newcastle’s 11. There has been 16 draws
- Central Coast’s 2-0 win over Newcastle in April this year was the first since October 2014
- They will also be chasing consecutive victories for the first time since winning three in a row between January and October 2014
- Newcastle have only won three matches at Central Coast Stadium
- Roy O’Donovan and Ben Kennedy will become the ninth and 10th player to play for both sides if they play this week
- Only Marcos Flores, Sasho Petrovski, and Jets’ captain Nigel Boogaard have scored for both teams
- Central Coast Mariners’ coach Paul Okon captained the Jets in the 2006-07 season
- Current Sydney FC striker Matt Simon is the leading goal scorer in this fixture with seven goals
- The F3 Derby will take place in Round One for just the third time. The first was in 2008-09 when Joel Griffiths converted a late penalty to secure a 1-1 draw for Newcastle. The second was in 2014-15 when Mitchell Duke scored an injury time winner to give the Mariners a 1-0 win.
- This fixture has struggled with attendances in recent years. Four of the past six matches at Central Coast Stadium have failed to pass 10,000 people
- Newcastle haven’t scored a goal in five matches, and haven’t scored from open play in six matches, when Aleksandr Kokko headed home against the Mariners in a 1-1 draw
- New Jets manager Ernie Merrick has won 12 of 28 matches against the Mariners
- Central Coast’s 2-0 win in April was the first time they have kept a clean sheet in this fixture since February 2015, and their first at home since October 2015
What has changed? Well, the recruitment teams within both clubs have worked tirelessly to bring in a new and improved selection of talent. Paul Okon has signed a handful of relatively unknown European players who will probably make a splash, but it is the potentially sinking afterward that is concerning.
Ernie Merrick on the other hand has bolstered Newcastle’s usually fragile back-line with some players that have abundance A-League experience.
— NEWCASTLE JETS FC ✈️ (@NewcastleJetsFC) October 3, 2017