A-LEAGUE: Central Coast Mariners star Nick Fitzgerald says a strong performance in tonight's match against the Brisbane Roar at Sunshine Coast Stadium can pave the way to a successful season.
The two A-League teams will clash in their final pre-season match which comes just a week out from the A-League season.
"They are our last A-League opposition we are going to play before the season so everyone has got their last chance to put their best foot forward to get into that starting 11," Fitzgerald said.
"They have had a lot of changes with (coach John) Alouisi coming in so it will be interesting to see what kind of style of play they will bring."
Fitzgerald has some extra motivation having spent three seasons with the Roar from 2011-13 before joining the Mariners.
"I actually played a pre-season match up there when I was playing with the Roar, but it is always tough coming up against your old team," he said.
And with both sides looking to fine-tune their plays in their last hit out before the 2015-16 season proper, Fitzgerald ensured Sunshine Coast football fans his side would field their strongest possible squad.
"We will put our best squad out on the park and will be looking to get a good result and keep the spirits high before the season kicks off," he said.
"Playing against an opposition like Brisbane, you can't go into the game half-hearted or they will put you to the sword if you don't take it in the right manner."
The Mariners missed the finals last season for just the second time in their history.
Fitzgerald warned any would-be doubters of his side's capabilities, as they search for the finals and beyond this this campaign.
"The boys are still hurting from missing the finals," he said.
"We are a proud club and we are looking forward to getting back in the finals where we belong."
"There is no reason why we can't and I believe we have a great squad put together."
BRISBANE ROAR v CENTRAL COAST MARINERS
Tonight, 7pm, Sunshine Coast Stadium
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