Nigel Boogard and Matt Simon are two of the pre-emininent heavyweights in the Australian game.

A no-nonsense central defender and rough-and-tumble striker sound like a sitcom in the making and judging by their traditional public sparring match before every F3 Derby, they realise it too.

“It’s obviously a special game and it’s something both sets of supporters look forward to,” Boogard said about

“I always like coming up against Simmo (Mariners captain Matt Simon). We’ll always shake each others hand before the game but after that we’re best of enemies.

“It’s always exciting to know you can go 90 minutes full-leather against your best mate, it’s all because both of you just want to win.

“There’s always been passion there from day dot, from year one.

“There’s still rivalry there and a mutual hatred among fans... it’s a big match to have bragging rights over your local neighbour.”

The two get to take the personality bouts outside of the media and onto the pitch tomorrow night when the Mariners' host the first F3 Derby of the season.

Despite narrowly losing to the Western Sydney Wanderers in a match that was huge for Western Sydney in their new stadium, the Mariners seem refreshed after a strong finish to last campaign under Alen Stajcic.

Both sides are also beginning to renew the passionate rivalry after a killer Derby to inagurate Stajcic and lead Central Coast's resurgence last season.

Not that Simon ever needs any encouragement.

“It’s a massive game on the calendar personally,” Simon said.

“I always make sure I let the boys know it’s a huge game for the fans.

“It’s the original derby of the A-League and it’s one to look forward to.”