Charlestown will give young attackers Liam Mcdonald and Tyrell Paulson a chance to impress when they take on A-League club Central Coast in a friendly at Lisle Carr Oval on Tuesday night.
The Mariners are using the match to prepare for their round of 32 FFA Cup clash with the Magpies at Maitland Sportsground on July 31. The 7pm trial comes as Charlestown sit fifth in the NNSW NPL on 25 points, two behind fourth-placed Maitland and one ahead of Lambton Jaffas, with six games, including two washouts, to play each.
Blues coach David Tanchevski said former national league players Adam Hughes and Peter McPherson would be rested, while Kane Goodchild (hamstring), Zac Lloyd (quadriceps) and Cameron Sullini (knee) were out injured. However, he was keen to see the likes of Paulson and Mcdonald step up.
"It's probably a shame for us we've had so many wash-outs that we can't field a full-strength side for the whole 90 minutes, but a few guys need game time and a few fringe players get an opportunity to prove themselves," Tanchevski said.
"We've got a big run to the finals now, so it's a chance to mix first grade with some boys who are knocking on the door and see how they perform at a higher level."
He said Paulson had been one of their standouts in under 20s, while Mcdonald was on the comeback from an ACL injury.
"I'll be looking at both of them in the front third, to give us some options there," he said.
He said back-up goalkeeper Brady McRitchie would also get game time and defender Tom Smart would return from suspension.
Captain Matt Tull was likely to play a small part in the game.
"It will be a good opportunity for the younger boys," Tull said.
"As I said to their parents, it's probably better to give the younger boys a chance. They might be able to get a little bit of exposure."