If you ask Zac Anderson, any opportunity he gets to head up to the Gold Coast is a bonus, and with the Mariners facing Palm Beach Sharks in the Westfield FFA Cup on Tuesday night, he is relishing the chance to reacquaint himself with old team mates.
It has been well over a year, June 2013 to be precise, for the last time Anderson was up on the Gold Coast as he took the chance during the off season to catch up with friends there.
Now he is heading back in an official capacity and this time it is all business in a place he proclaims as ‘God’s country’.
Anderson and the Central Coast Mariners will be aiming to become the first club to book their spot in the Semi Finals of the Westfield FFA Cup, but to do it they must get past the standout team in PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues Queensland this year, the Palm Beach Sharks.
“I’m really looking forward to heading back up to God’s country on the Gold Coast,” Anderson told www.theffacup.com.au.
“It was nice when we drew Palm Beach. I sent Kristian Rees a text message and we had some friendly banter about it so it should be a fantastic game and we’re all really looking forward to it.”
Anderson is also excited by the prospect of running back out onto Cbus Stadium, a venue he remembers fondly.
Born and bred in Queensland, 23 year old Anderson made 16 appearances for the now defunct Gold Coast United at a time that current Palm Beach players Kristian Rees and Chris Lucas were also at the club.
In 2012 he signed with the Mariners and has been there ever since, and when the club from Gosford got drawn to meet Palm Beach in the last eight, Anderson admits his eyes immediately lit up.
“Cbus is one of the best stadiums in Australia. I really enjoyed playing there during my time at Gold Coast United, and I know all the boys are really looking forward to playing there,” Anderson said.
Having defeated Member federations clubs gunning for them in their previous two Westfield FFA Cup encounters on their way to the last eight, Anderson is under no illusions that the Mariners are the hunted coming into the clash and reinforced the need for them to again match it in the motivation and intensity stakes.
“We understand they (Palm Beach) are a very strong side and have been the dominant team in Queensland this year,” Anderson said.
“We’ve done a little bit of homework on them and know that they will rise to the occasion, which means we will need to as well.”
“It’s a really important game for us and we know we’ve got a big job to do to reach the Semi Finals.”
The squad had recovery yesterday following their win over the Newcastle Jets in the opening round of the Hyundai A-League 2014/15 Season on Saturday and had training this morning before they departed for the Gold Coast this afternoon.
Tickets for the match will be available from the venue while it can be seen LIVE and exclusively on FOX SPORTS 2 and 2HD.
Kick-Off is at 6.30pm local time (7.30pm AEDT).
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