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Oct 13, 2019   |  11:35PM AET

Things we learnt against the Mariners

Things we learnt against the Mariners

The Red & Black made a successful return to Wanderland on Saturday night with a 2-1 win over the Mariners in the opening game of the Hyundai A-League season.

The Red & Black made a successful return to Wanderland on Saturday night with a 2-1 win over the Mariners in the opening game of the Hyundai A-League season. 

Here are a few things we learnt from the match.

THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME

How good is it to be back at Wanderland? A crowd of 17,091 – the biggest non-Sydney Derby home game in three years – turned out at the spectacular Bankwest Stadium. The atmosphere generated by the Wanderers faithful was intense and it’s going to be a huge asset for the team moving forward. Watching the players celebrate with the members and fans at the end of the match was truely magical. 

Rival teams should be very nervous about coming to Wanderland. 

IMPROVEMENTS TO COME

Captain Mitchell Duke described it as an ugly win but quickly added things will only get better as the season progresses.  The Wanderers preparation was disrupted as they lost Bruce Kamau and Kwame Yeboah to injuries before the game while Patrick Ziegler was given an extra week off as a precaution. A number of players were also experiencing their first competitive match for the Red & Black with Alex Meier and Matt Jurman signing as late arrivals. Once everyone reaches full fitness the team will thrive. 

Mitchell Duke

LEADING BY EXAMPLE

We know now why Mitchell Duke was voted by the players to be captain this season. While he was a little short of being at his top fitness-wise, Duke was at his typical give-all best driving the players on when the going was tough. It was fitting then that he scored the club’s first Hyundai A-League goal back at Wanderland and then held his nerve with what was the match-winning penalty. 

THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT

The Wanderers, and Australian football, is in good hands if the game against Central Coast is any indication. When the full-time whistle went on Saturday night, there were seven Wanderers Academy graduates on the field – five for the home team (Tass Mourdoukoutas, Keanu Baccus, Daniel Wilmering, Kosta Grozos and Mo Adam) and two for the Mariners (Sam Silvera and Abraham Majok).

Daniel Wilmering