Central Coast Mariners striker Blake Powell is making the most of his time on the pitch following an extended injury lay-off which saw him sidelined for most of last year.

Since joining the Central Coast at the beginning of the 2016/17 A-League season Powell has been plagued with injuries and has managed just 27 appearances for the club in the last 18 months with a persistent knee injury the root cause of his problems.

The 26-year-old recently returned to action in round eight against his former side Wellington Phoenix. He came off the bench for the final 20 minutes and provided an assist in his side’s 4-1 demolition of the Phoenix.

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The striker built upon his performance a week later when he played the role of super sub and popped up with the matchwinner against Perth Glory.

Powell has made a further eight appearances for his side this campaign with his most recent goal arriving in their 1-1 draw against Sydney FC, the club where he began his career.

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The former Sky Blues striker is flourishing at the Mariners and as it stands he is the top scorer for Paul Okon’s side. Despite his productive performances in front of goal the 26-year-old has set realistic targets for himself as he looks to overcome his injury nightmare.

“For myself, I want to play a bit more this year so hopefully I can repay the faith that Paul’s shown in me and start banging in some goals for him,” Powell said.

“I don’t look too far ahead, I take each game as it comes and I’m getting chances and opportunities to score so hopefully more goals will go in for me.”

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The Mariners will hope to build upon their impressive display against league leaders Sydney as they prepare for crucial back-to-back home games against Brisbane Roar and Western Sydney Wanderers as they push for a spot in the top six.

Powell knows that his side will have to match the level of performance they showed against the A-League champions if they want to claim all six points from their next two clashes at Central Coast Stadium.

“These matches are massively important and we need to start bringing some consistency into these games and take full advantage of them,” Powell said.

“They’re two big home games coming up and we want to get as many fans down there as possible to bring us home.”

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Studying Journalism at UTS. Obsessed with football and a die hard supporter of Sydney FC and Liverpool FC in the EPL