Kosmina says he'll find room for Aloisi

August 23, 2008
By Philip Henderson

His squad is the envy of the A-League.

Now Sydney FC coach John Kosmina is set to experience a selection headache his contemporaries could only dream about - how to fit Socceroos hero John Aloisi into a strike force which wreaked havoc against Central Coast on Saturday night.

Attacking trio Steve Corica, Alex Brosque and Mark Bridge were all superb as 10-man Sydney claimed a dramatic 3-2 victory over the Mariners in another thrill-a-minute derby at Bluetongue Stadium.

An evergreen Corica, one of the competition's elder statesmen at 35, bagged a first half double with goals in the sixth and 14th minutes.

But it was his work with fellow attacking wide man Brosque and striker Bridge - in their first proper outing together - which most impressed, as the trio at times looked to toy with the Mariners defence with their speed and ball movement.

After such a wonderful display, it would seem a difficult task to try and fit marquee star Aloisi - who is more of a target man up front - into the attacking third.

But with Aloisi a possibility of returning for Sunday's home match with Perth after missing the opening weeks with a foot injury, coach John Kosmina insists he will have no trouble accommodating the 32-year-old.

"No, because they've all got different strengths and weaknesses," said Kosmina.

"Johnny is an out and out goalscorer as well. We could change our shape a bit.

"I think we need to be versatile. You look at different teams, and you play them different ways.

"And when Johnny comes back and Poppa (captain and centre back Tony Popovic) comes back and (forward) Brendan Santalab - we'll have a bit more speed because Santa is lighting quick.

"It just gives us different options and we need to play different ways against different opposition."

Kosmina said it was "fun" to watch Corica, Brosque and Bridge in action against Central Coast.

"It was fantastic, the one touch football we played and little angles and triangles we created in the first half in particular, it was great to watch. It was fun on the sideline to be honest," he said.

Corica, who continues to show that age and 18 years of senior football have done nothing to weary him after being arguably Sydney best player in the opening two rounds, agreed it was just as fun to play.

The game was obviously less fun for Mariners coach Lawrie McKinna - particularly the end result as Shannon Cole sealed victory for Sydney with an 81st minute free kick just 12 minutes after sky blues midfielder Stuart Musialik was sent off.

"Giving them two easy goals, but then coming back was great," said McKinna.

"And then to lose it with a free kick like that was hard to take because I thought we were dominating the game at that time."

After taking just one point from their opening two games, the Mariners - last season's minor premiers - should be boosted by the return of junior Socceroo Mile Jedinak and striker Dylan McAllister from injury.

They will lose goalkeeper Danny Vukovic for the next five weeks as part of his ban for manhandling the referee in last season's grand final.

Fallen Socceroo, Manchester United and Chelsea star Mark Bosnich is to play his first professional game in seven years against Queensland Roar next Sunday after signing a seven-week contract with Central Coast.