Central Coast defender Eddy Bosnar has slammed his side’s horror schedule as ridiculous and says things need to change in future.
Changes are needed to the A-League to better accommodate teams competing in Asia, a furious Eddy Bosnar insists, with the Central Coast defender labelling his side’s semi-final scheduling ridiculous.
The Mariners will battle Western Sydney on Saturday for a place in the A-League grand final after booking their spot in the semis with a 1-0 win over Adelaide.
But the Gosford victory on Saturday has been soured, with coach Phil Moss and his men fuming at a hectic schedule that pits them against the Wanderers little more than 24 hours after returning from a crucial Asian Champions League clash in Japan.
“It’s absolutely ridiculous to arrive (home) on Friday morning and play on Saturday afternoon,” Bosnar said.
“But we’ve got no choice. That’s the way they’ve scheduled it.
“We’ll just try to keep our heads up and try to win both games.”
For the first time, three of the four teams left standing in the A-League are also competing in the ACL, with the Wanderers and Melbourne Victory also looking to secure places in the knockout phase of the continental competition in clashes this week.
Western Sydney face China’s Guizhou Renhe at home on Tuesday while Victory play Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in South Korea the same day and return with ample time to recover before their semi-final clash with Brisbane on Sunday.
The Mariners, however, play Japanese champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima in Japan on Wednesday and arrive home on Friday morning before Saturday’s Parramatta Stadium semi.
A-League boss Damien de Bohun says it could have been even worse and Football Federation Australia have done everything possible to meet the Mariners’ needs.
He says the FFA changed both Mariners’ finals fixtures dates, with the A-League elimination final initially intended a day later on Sunday and the semi-final a day earlier on Friday this week.
“We moved both the Central Coast games so they would have an extra day either side,” de Bohun told AAP on Sunday.
“So we have already accommodated them quite significantly.”
De Bohun said with all football codes currently in action, ground availability was an issue.
Brisbane secured their semi-final spot first and, with an NRL game at Suncorp Stadium on Friday, the Roar were given the Sunday fixture.
And while Parramatta Stadium is also free on Sunday, de Bohun said broadcast restrictions made it impossible to have both semi-final games the same day.
Bosnar said while he understood the situation, things had to change in future.
“I have to be vocal now for further on in the next three or four years,” he said.
“Not for myself but for the players who are coming through because if we want the game in this country to grow we need to look after the players.
“There has to be changes and I think they have to speak to players like myself, the players who have been through it, to try and sort out the balance so the quality of the league stays as high as it is.”
De Bohun said with the FFA committed to an October kick-off for the A-League, clashes with the ACL would continue to be a problem and any meaningful changes would be near impossible.
“It’s challenging because of when the ACL is scheduled,” he admitted.
“But we have spoken to the Asian confederation and we’ve also spoken to J-League officials about different options in improving the schedule.
“So we’re working on it.”