Mariners sweat on Baird clearance

January 5, 2011
By Greg Danvers

Central Coast Mariners plan to start former Perth Glory striker Michael Baird from the bench in Sunday's A-League match against Wellington in Gosford.

The Mariners are sweating on a clearance from the FFA in order to have their newest signing available for the match.

Out of favour with Glory coach Ian Ferguson, Baird joins the Mariners in the January transfer window for the remainder of the 2010-11 season and will remain at the Mariners for the 2011-12 season as well.

The 27-year-old said he had enjoyed a good relationship with Ferguson up until a month ago before a falling out that signalled the time was right for a change.

Baird had played 13 matches, starting 10, for Perth but his last match was on November 28 last year.

"Fergie (Ferguson) knows I'm the goods, I might not have had the best of seasons this year, it has been up and down," Baird said.

"I have a point to prove over the season, especially when we play Perth in a couple of weeks."

Mariners coach Graham Arnold needed to freshen his squad with the imminent retirement of injury plagued striker Nik Mrdja, who is now unavailable for the remainder of the season.

"I'm going to bring a bit more pace and a bit more directness towards goal," Baird said.

"I think I'm good in the air but probably not as good as Matty Simon or someone like that.

"He's a good battler and so am I but I think I've got a bit more pace.

"The man that Perez or whoever is playing behind can find."