Daniel McBreen of the Mariners and team mates celebrate winning the A-League 2013 Grand Final match between the Western Sydney Wanderers and the Central Coast Mariners at Allianz Stadium on April 21, 2013 in Sydney, Australia.
Daniel McBreen of the Mariners and team mates celebrate winning the A-League 2013 Grand Final match between the Western Sydney Wanderers and the Central Coast Mariners at Allianz Stadium on April 21, 2013 in Sydney, Australia. Cameron Spencer / Getty Images

A-League premiers hope to keep winning feeling in Korea

THE Central Coast Mariners showed there was no rest for the winners after the A-League champions hopped on a plane yesterday morning for tonight's crucial Asian Champions League clash in South Korea with Suwon Bluebirds.

The Mariners had no time for a big celebration following their grand final success over Western Sydney Wanderers the night before as they boarded their plane at Sydney Airport for the 11-hour flight.

Veteran defender Patrick Zwaanswijk, who scored the first goal in the Mariners' 2-0 grand final win, said the players shared a special moment after sealing the club's first A-League title success.

"We celebrated as much as we could at the ground," Zwaanswijk said before boarding the flight yesterday.

"Players got together with wives and girlfriends and we had a really intense and sweet moment together. The win was just a cherry on a beautiful cake."

The euphoria of grand final glory was dampened a little with news that coach Graham Arnold could be leaving the club.

Rumours have emerged the former Socceroos No.2 was mulling over his future, and that could be away from Bluetongue Stadium.

New Zealand international Michael McGlinchey is one player who is desperate for Arnold to stay.

"For me he is the best manager I have ever played under," McGlinchey said.

He is definitely destined for bigger and better things.

"I don't want to see him go because I have played some of my best football under Arnie and he's probably the main reason why I have done that.

"I think a lot of the boys can say that and we all want him to hang around."

Arnold's men need to get at least a draw from tonight's clash with the Bluebirds, and get three points from their final group match with Kashiwa Reysol in Gosford on April 30 if they are to qualify for the knockout stages.

The Mariners sit level on four points in second place with Chinese outfit Guizhou Renhe with Kashiwa leading on 10.


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