McMaster still waits for A-League debut
New Central Coast recruit Jamie McMaster is still awaiting the last "t" to be crossed on a clearance from his former Danish club to make his A-League debut with the Mariners.
The former Leeds United forward signed a short-term contract with the club last week, but was unable to play in the Mariners' 4-1 win over Newcastle because Football Federation Australia had not received an official clearance from Danish club AGF Aarhus.
A week later and McMaster and the club are still sweating on the paperwork arriving at FFA headquarters before Sunday's game with the New Zealand Knights in Gosford.
McMaster, 23, and AGF Aarhus agreed to part ways weeks ago, and the final clearance is believed to just require the mark of approval from the Danish federation to become official.
"The process is all but completed, but we just need that final word to say that he's available," said coach Lawrie McKinna on Friday.
"If he can play, he gives us an extra option in attack and from the way he has been training, I have no doubt he can offer us something," McKinna said.
Midfielder Matthew Osman, another absentee from the Mariners' win over the Jets, is set for another week in the stands after failing to recover from a back strain.
McKinna has named an extended squad of 16 players for the Knights, with McMaster the only addition.
"Competition for places in the squad has never been as hard as it is now and last week's starting line-up responded as well as I could have hoped," McKinna said.
Central Coast climbed into the top four with last week's win, but will be wary of a New Zealand side which has drawn its past two games, and beat the Mariners in their early season clash at Gosford, the Knights only win of a dire season.
"We've faced New Zealand three times now, including pre season, and each time we've come up against a very tricky team that have given us a stern test," said McKinna.
"We're under no illusions about Sunday, well have to work very hard and be on our game and get the three points that we so desperately need."