Fitzgerald to face off against players from his home turf

David Williams of the Heart and Nick Fitzgerald of the Mariners contest the header during the round 27 A-League match between the Central Coast Marines and the Melbourne Heart at Bluetongue Stadium on March 30, 2013 in Gosford, Australia.
David Williams of the Heart and Nick Fitzgerald of the Mariners contest the header during the round 27 A-League match between the Central Coast Marines and the Melbourne Heart at Bluetongue Stadium on March 30, 2013 in Gosford, Australia. Tony Feder / Getty Images

BEING a western Sydney boy, Mariners attacker Nick Fitzgerald admits it will be a strange feeling lining up against the Wanderers in the A-League grand final this Sunday at Allianz Stadium.

Fitzgerald played youth football for the Blacktown City Demons between 2008 and 2010.

At the time he was contracted to Central Coast, but eventually linked with Brisbane before moving back south midway through this season.

"It is funny playing against Western Sydney in an A-League grand final," he said.

"I played with Joey Gibbs when he was at Blacktown.

"But it's great to see so many western Sydney players in the competition, and not just at the Wanderers."

Fitzgerald has impressed in his second stint at the Mariners, playing eight A-League, and three Asian Champions League games under coach Graham Arnold after earning limited game time at the Roar.

"It's been great being part of such a good squad at the Mariners. But I have no hard feelings towards the Roar - they had their own ideas and were unlucky not to make the grand final," Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald pointed to his team's 1-0 loss to the Wanderers in a round-23 thriller, saying that game proved the Mariners were capable of an upset this Sunday.

"While we were disappointed with the result in that game, we showed we can match it with the Wanderers," he said.

"It's a grand final, a one-off, and anything can happen."

Topics:  a-league central coast mariners football soccer western sydney wanderers

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Ballina koalas faced with extinction

Ballina's koalas are under threat.

About 36,000 koalas left in NSW face an uncertain future

An emotional Mike Baird: 'There was great personal cost'

"After 10 years in public life, this moment for me has arrived."

Surfer calls for second shark net off one coastal town

SIGNS OF SUPPORT: Young protesters make their opinions clear at a rally in support of shark nets at Ballina last November. More than 500 people attended the event calling for the immediate installation of the nets. PHOTO: ALINA RYLKO/ THE NORTHERN STAR

Kids surfing near the Lennox Hotel are at risk of shark encounters

Local Partners

41-year-old playgroup under threat of closing down

IT'S been an important part of the Ballina community for decades, but this playgroup could be forced to shut its doors.

See turtles up close on rescue centre tour

SPLASH: This green sea turtle, held by Australian Seabird Rescue general manager Kath Southwell, splashed some of the children on a tour of seabird rescue's headquarters.

The turtles don't mind giving the tour groups a splash, too

Shrek on stage

POPULAR MUSICAL: Shrek (River Fullagar) interrupts the wedding, shocking Fiona (Hillary Goodsell), the Bishop (Grace Pateman) and a furious Farquaad (Lachlan McGeary) in the Ballina Players' latest production.

The best-known green ogre is the star in Ballina Players production

Humble Cortina expected to shine at show

BOYS TOYS: Members of the North Coast Street Machines (from left) Errol Beaumont, Steven Fitness, Les Eckersley and John Stanford are ready for this Sunday's show and shine in Ballina, with their vehicles (from left) 1964 EH Holden, 1962 S Series Valiant, 1934 Ford, 1969 XW GT Falcon and a 1974 L Cortina.

There aren't many who can say they own thefirst car they bought

J.K. Rowling writes through severe back pain

An aching back couldn't stop J.K. Rowling catching inspiration

Elsa voice actor's son hates Frozen

Idina Menzel's son "hates" his mother's most famous film 'Frozen'

Chrissy Teigen likes her "soft" stretch marks

Stretch marks are no problem for Chrissy Teigen

Naomie Harris in the dark over Daniel Craig's future as 007

Naomie Harris has no idea if Daniel Craig will be returning as 007

REVIEW: Will Kasey Chambers' Dragonfly take off with fans?

Kasey Chambers’ new album Dragonfly gets 3.5 stars from Cameron Adams.

CHAMBERS is back with her 11th studio album.

Ed Sheeran wants Beyonce collaboration

Ed Sheeran wants to record a duet with Beyoncé.

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

Pat Rafter's $18m Coast home proves hot property

PAT'S PAD: The Sunshine Beach home of tennis ace Pat rafter is on the market for a record price.

"It's a record for our company and for the Sunshine Coast.''

INTERACTIVE MAP: Which Northern Rivers towns boomed in 2016?

BOOM TOWNS: While Ballina properties continued to attract top dollar in 2016, it was areas to the south that experienced price hikes, including Wardell, Evans Head and Woodburn.

Click on our map to find the median sale price in your town

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!