Canberra United begin the first of a double-header of home matches in the Liberty A-League when they welcome Central Coast Mariners to McKellar Park for the first time since 9 November 2008 as the two clubs meet in Round 9 of the competition.

That match was United’s first-ever home game in what was the Westfield W-League, and a crowd of 1,637 witnessed Ellie Brush score from the penalty spot, with the visiting team eventually going away with a 2-1 victory.

The two met again in December that year, Canberra winning 3-0, with the match a year later ending 1-1 before the Mariners tenure in the competition was prematurely ended by their dissolvement.

Their return to the Liberty A-League at the commencement of the 2023/24 season was welcomed by all, and the Mariners make the trip down the Hume Highway having won twice, drawn twice, and lost three times in their eight matches to date for a total of eight points.

It’s been a tough start for the team from the Central Coast who have only managed to score half-a-dozen goals in those matches. Whilst there have been struggles in front of goal, there has been some good defensive showings, the Mariners concession of only nine goals thus far better than seven other teams on the table.

For Canberra the loss on the trip to Melbourne against Victory was a bump back down to Earth after the euphoria of the 5-1 hammering of Brisbane Roar at McKellar Park. The game against Victory was a tough one for United, who saw goalkeeper Chloe Lincoln sent off, she will serve a one-match ban in this fixture.

That might well open the door for the inclusion of youngster Georgia Ritchie on the substitute’s bench, the CommBank Junior Matildas stopper, United’s third-choice custodian this term. Coco Majstorovic is more than likely to start between the posts in what would be her first outing from the beginning since joining the club.

Elsewhere, United fans could grab a first glimpse of new American signing Sarah Clark, the defender or defensive midfielder having made her debut off the bench in Victoria and in line for selection once more.

Tickets for the historic match are on sale now, and there is sure to be a festive atmosphere at Canberra’s boutique home.


Saturday 23 December 2023

Canberra United v Central Coast Mariners

(McKellar Park, 17:00)