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Justin Chadwick

Mariners coach slams 'crazy' youth tournament call-up

Nectarios Triantis (l) will miss four ALM games for the Mariners to play at the U-20 Asian Cup. (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS) (AAP)

Central Coast coach Nick Montgomery says it's "crazy" that Nectarios Triantis is being forced to play in an upcoming youth tournament, believing it will be detrimental to his development compared to staying in the A-League.

Triantis has become a key cog at the Mariners this season, but the 19-year-old is set to miss the next four games so he can attend the AFC U-20 Asian Cup, which runs from March 1-18 in Uzbekistan.

"I think it's crazy. I spoke to (Young Socceroos coach) Trevor Morgan and the FFA, and we asked that Nectar doesn't go," Montgomery said.

"We've got nine games to go (before finals), he's playing men's football,, he's a massive prospect for the future.

"I think Australia is the only country in the world where you take players starting first-team football (and order them to) play youth football.

"I don't agree with it whatsoever.

"I agree with players playing for the national team. But whatever agreement was made for players to go mid-season, I can't stand it."

Montgomery was left further flabbergasted when his request to keep Triantis for one more Mariners game before the youth tournament was denied.

"We asked if he could stay and play next week (February 24 against Wellington) and have five days before their first game (of the tournament), and that was knocked back as well," he said.

"Really disappointed with that. I think it's crazy, and I think it's detrimental to Nectar.

"The only way you're going to develop them and go at the top level is playing first-team football.

"At the Mariners we play young players. I take risks to play them. We already lost him for two games at the start of the season, he came back out of shape, and he's now going again.

"I think when that rule was agreed, I thought common sense would come into play where players starting in the A-League - you would leave them there because it's better for their development."

Although bitter about that situation, Montgomery was left with a big smile after watching Brazilian Moresche make a successful return from an ACL injury in Saturday night's 2-2 draw with Perth Glory.

Moresche was brought on in the 68th minute in his first match since late last season, and he was lively as the Mariners scored two late goals to snatch a share of the spoils.

"I'm just super happy for him," Montgomery said.

"I thought he was outstanding when he came on. He hasn't had much football but he gave us some good energy.

"He was unplayable last year before he got the injury, and you can see now the work he's put in."

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