McBreen one goal away from sealing the deal

ONE goal - that is all that stands in the way of Daniel McBreen and a one-year extension at A-League leaders the Central Coast Mariners.

To say McBreen is in a purple patch is an understatement.

The veteran striker, who played for Falkirk in the Scottish Premier League, scored a double to bury his former club Newcastle at Hunter Stadium on Saturday.

He now has nine goals in 10 games and eight in the past six and this haul includes a hat-trick and two braces.

Not bad for a 35-year-old who is renowned more for banging bodies and holding the ball up than his strike rate in a career that has taken him from Edgeworth to Romania, Scotland, England, Townsville and Perth, and now to his third season on the Coast.

The experienced McBreen negotiated a deal with coach Graham Arnold.

"He is 35 and asked me what he had to do to get another year," Arnold explained after the match.

"I said, 'Get double figures and let's talk.' He is one away.

"I didn't expect it to happen this early, but I am very happy for him."

Jets coach Gary van Egmond was the assistant to Ian Crook at Newcastle United in 2001 when McBreen was starting out his national league career.

"Let me tell you, he is quicker now than he was back then," van Egmond said. "Full credit to him, he is obviously treating his body well."

Mariners fitness guru Andrew Clarke has modified McBreen's training routine to ensure he stays fresh.

That along with a change in roles has been the catalyst for his most productive season since his first year in Scotland which yielded 13 goals in 21 games.

"The last couple of years I have done a lot of the work with my back to goal for other people to get into the box," McBreen said.

"This year, I feel like I am going to score every game. The boys are creating opportunities and I am getting in the box rather than being out of the box following up play."

As for the 10-goal target and new contract?

"I want to play as long as I can," he said. "We have started some talks and we will see where it goes."

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