How Central Coast Mariners can return to the six

New recruit Andrew Hoole in action for Central Coast Mariners in the Westfield FFA Cup.

We continue our series on how the teams who missed the Hyundai A-League finals series last season can put that right in 2017/18.

Today, it’s the Central Coast Mariners as we ask, ‘what must they do to return to their former glories?’

Get the new boys firing early

One of the best things about bringing in fresh players is that they’re relatively unknown to opposition sides.

With three new and top-class imports this season (Tom Hiariej, Asdrúbal and Wout Brama), the Mariners have the chance to produce something different and catch their opponents unaware, particularly early in the season.

Tighten up defensively

Defence not only wins championships, it also helps you into the top six.

The Mariners leaked 52 goals last season and kept just four clean sheets in 27 outings.

When you consider eight of their losses were by just one goal, a solidified defence will go a long way to accumulating more points and improving their table position.

The acquisition of Spanish defender Alan Baro will go a long way to fixing this problem.

Replace Roy O’Donovan’s goals

The Irishman was the go-to guy for the Mariners during his two seasons at the club, winning the Golden Boot on both occasions.

His move to Newcastle leaves a massive goalscoring void, particularly given Fabio Ferreira’s departure, with the Portuguese attacker being the second-top scorer in both 2015/16 and 2016/17.

The newly-arrived Asdrúbal and Andrew Hoole, along with Connor Pain and Trent Buhagiar all need big seasons to help alleviate O’Donovan’s absence.

Make Gosford great again

In the Mariners’ heyday, it was very, very difficult to get anything out of a visit to Gosford.

In the Hyundai A-League championship winning 2012/13 campaign, Central Coast lost just once at home, having also been defeated just once at Gosford the previous season.

In 2016/17, they lost eight games at home, more than anyone else. Teams need to again start fearing a trip to Gosford.

Daniel De Silva v Blacktown City

Channel Okon’s desire

You won’t find a more passionate football man than Paul Okon.

The former Australian captain wore his heart on his sleeve last season, kicking every ball with his players and taking every loss almost personally.

If the Mariners can become an extension of their boss, they’ll go a long way to returning the club to finals football.

Okon’s drive and thirst for success makes him very popular with his players which will help immensely in their combined quest for the top six.


Source  :  Football Federation Australia

Why Aussie young gun chose the Mariners

De Silva

Wednesday, 12 July 2017 

Josh Bennett @JoshBennett50
Daniel De Silva was once considered one of Australia’s brightest prospects but for one reason or another it hasn’t quite clicked for the diminutive playmaker.

But after undergoing a strict strength and conditioning program, De Silva is back in the Hyundai A-League in order to kick-start his career.


*Burst onto the scene with Perth Glory in 2013, debuting as a 15-year-old.

*Attracted interest from Serie A giants Roma in 2015, though a reported move fell through.

*Eventually signed with Dutch outfit Roda JC where he has spent the past two seasons.

*Earned a call-up to the Socceroos squad in June 2015 for Australia’s clash with Kyrgyzstan.


Now 20, De Silva has signed a three-year-deal with Central Coast Mariners and says the chance to play under his former mentor Paul Okon was a big reason for his return.

De Silva “I worked with Paul Okon in the national teams and he gave me a lot of opportunities as a young player so I am glad that I am here now,” De Silva told the Mariners website.

“I am looking forward to being able to work with him full time here on the Central Coast.

“Having worked with Paolo before I know what he expects from his players and from his team so I don’t think that’s going to change too much. It’ just now about learning the way that he wants us to play, the formations and the style which is what the pre-season is all about. – so, by the end of the pre-season we will be ready to go.

“Paul Okon plays one of the best styles of football in the A-League,” De Silva said. “By the end of the season if we can execute it – we will be very dangerous and teams will find it very difficult to stop us so that was one of the biggest factors of why I chose to come here.”


“My number one priority is to play well for the Central Coast Mariners for as long as I’m here,” De Silva said.

“If the opportunity arises for me to go back overseas than that would be amazing but for now my priority is this club.

“I know that if players perform well and do good things in the A-League, the Socceroos are always watching. If I have a good season and do well then hopefully I will be able to earn those opportunities with the Socceroos again.”


Source :  Football Federation Australia

Meet Vanuatu’s latest fan of Central Coast Mariners!

Nick “Monty” Montgomery now has a lifelong fan in Vanuatu with this cute bub named Monty.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Staff Writer
Nick “Monty” Montgomery now has a lifelong fan in Vanuatu – meet cute bub Monty named after the Central Coast Mariners great and clearly now a fan of Paul Okon’s Mariners side.

Championship winner Montgomery, who retired from Hyundai A-League at the end of last season after 116 appearances for the club over five years, revealed on Facebook today that baby Monty had been named after him.

The 35-year-old former EPL midfielder described it as humbling to have the baby named after him.

Montgomery’s link with Vanuatu goes back to 2016.

Central Coast Mariners teamed up with local lad Danny Barton to deliver boxes full of Mariners’ merchandise and football equipment to villages in Vanuatu that were devastated by Cyclone Pam.

Barton, who is a close friend of Montgomery’s, grew up in Vanuatu and has been flying back and forward from the South Pacific undertaking selfless acts of aid well before the Mariners offered their support.


Barton even flew the three villagers from Vanuatu to the Central Coast to stay with him for an entire month.

Montgomery has been lucky enough to spend time with his newest friends during their stay on the Central Coast.

“It’s a great story really, Danny grew up in Vanuatu and last year when they had the big storms a lot of the villages were damaged so he’s spent time over there rebuilding,” Montgomery told the club’s website last year.

“They’re like his big family and I’ve become close to them as well through football.”

And now, that link is even stronger now that baby Monty has arrived in the world.

Source : Football Federation Australia

Hyundai A-League season 2016/2017 review: Central Coast Mariners

Under new boss Paul Okon, the Mariners made some encouraging steps forward in the Hyundai A-League 2016/17 Season

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Jason Pine @pineyzb
Under new boss Paul Okon, the Mariners made some encouraging steps forward in the Hyundai A-League 2016/17 Season. We take a look at a season of highs and lows and predict what’s in store in the next 12 months.


Position: 8th

Record: Played 27, Won 6, Drawn 5, Lost 16

Goals: 31

Conceded: 52

Leading Goal Scorer: Roy O’Donovan (11)

Best home crowd: 11,398 – Round 14 against Sydney FC

Star performer: Paul Izzo

The Central Coast custodian was among the competition’s best, enhancing his reputation with a string of excellent performances. Nearly three-quarters of the shots fired in his direction were repelled with his agile shot-stopping an eye-catching feature of his quickly developing game.  Still only 22, big things are expected of a goalkeeper who has already represented Australia at under-17, under-20 and under-23 level. It’s just a shame for Mariners fans the next stage of his development won’t happen at their club, with a move to Adelaide United confirmed.

Breakout player: Trent Buhagiar

After less than three hours of playing time last season, the lightning-quick Gosford teenager was given a chance to shine in 2016/17, featuring in all but one of Central Coast’s 27 games, including ten starts. In a memorable four-day stretch between Christmas and New Year, he scored a maiden Hyundai A-League goal within five minutes of coming on against Melbourne Victory before repeating the dose with an assured left-footed finish in the 2-2 draw with Melbourne City on New Year’s Eve. Definitely one to watch!

Trent Buhagiar has re-signed with the Mariners.Goal of the year: Connor Pain

The former Melbourne Victory attacker scored only one goal in his first season as a Mariner, but it was an absolute belter. With the round five clash against Adelaide at Coopers Stadium locked up at 1-1, Pain collected the ball on the left-hand edge of the penalty area, cut inside and unleashed an unstoppable drive into the top corner to give the Mariners all three points.

Highlight: Back-to-back-to-back

For the first time since March 2014, the Mariners won three straight Hyundai A-League games. The run started with a second 2-0 victory of the campaign against Perth Glory, followed by a 2-1 win against Adelaide United, featuring a very popular and long-awaited first Hyundai A-League goal for Kwabena Appiah in his 52nd appearance. Not content, the Mariners then went to Spotless Stadium for the most impressive performance of the lot, with Roy O’Donovan’s brace securing another 2-0 victory. The Irishman’s second was a beautiful lob over Vedran Janjetovic to seal the third straight win.

Mariners players celebrate a goal in their 2-0 win over Newcastle Jets on Sunday afternoon.

Lowlight: Mid-season blues

The peak outlined above came off the back of a real trough. After eight rounds the Mariners were handily placed, flirting briefly with the top six after an impressive home 2-0 win over Glory. By contrast, the next eight weeks were dreadful, with seven losses and just a solitary point from the 24 on offer. Any realistic hopes of finals football largely evaporated in that wretched two-month stretch.

What they need:

With Roy O’Donovan departing, replacing his goal output will be coach Paul Okon’s biggest assignment. The Irishman has accounted for nearly one-third of the Mariners’ haul during his two seasons in Gosford and is a massive loss. To make matters worse, Fabio Ferreira is also on the move to an as yet unknown overseas club, leaving the attacking stocks severely depleted. Two new goalkeepers are also required, with both Izzo and veteran Ivan Necevski leaving. Ben Kennedy is believed to have agreed terms, but his move from Newcastle is yet to be confirmed.

Roy O'Donovan celebrates opening the scoring against the Wanderers from the penalty spot.

Acquisitions for next season:


Losses for next season:

Roy O’Donovan, Paul Izzo, Fabio Ferreira, Ivan Necevski

Outlook for 2017/18:

Losing three of the club’s best players – Roy O’Donovan, Fabio Ferreira and Paul Izzo – means recruitment is absolutely key for Paul Okon. He’ll have some room to move though with Jacques Faty and Mickael Tavares also off-contract, freeing up further visa spots if the Senegalese pair are not re-signed. The Mariners boss is extremely popular with his players and his heart-on-the-sleeve mentality is admired on the Central Coast, but there’s plenty of work to do if the Mariners are to avoid a fourth straight season without finals football. 


Source : Football Federation Australia

Former Central Coast Mariners striker Mitch Duke on target in Japan

Mitch Duke found the target in Japan overnight.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Matt Dorman @Matt11Dorman
Australian striker Mitchell Duke put his injury troubles firmly behind him by scoring his first goal in over a year in Shimizu S-Pulse’s 2-0 win on Saturday night.

The 26-year-old continued his comeback with the stoppage time sealer away to Kashiwa Reysol, securing Shimizu’s third win of the J-League season.

Duke came off the bench for the third straight match late in the contest and applied a cool one-on-one finish to wrap up three points.

Capped four times by the Caltex Socceroos, the former Central Coast Mariners man has endured a frustrating spell on the sidelines since making 29 appearances in his first season in Japan.

The strong centre-forward played 90 minutes for the first time in almost a year last month and will hope for an extended run in the first-team as he seeks to make the most of the final six months of his contract.


Fellow Australian Milos Degenek also tasted victory in Japan overnight, completing a full match at the back in Yokohama F. Marinos’ 2-1 win over Jubilo Iwata.

Another former Mariners star, Oliver Bozanic, started and played over an hour of Ventforet Kofu’s 1-1 draw away to Kawasaki Frontale.

Elsewhere in Asia, Jeju United defender Aleksandar Jovanovic notched 90 minutes in a 1-1 draw in the K-League while Dario Vidosic couldn’t prevent a 2-1 loss for Seongnam in Korea’s second division.

Socceroos v Saudi Arabia. 


Source : Football Federation Australia

Trial of Video Assistant Referee system to take place in Gosford

Mariners fans support their team at Central Coast Stadium.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Staff writer
The Mariners have announced Central Coast Stadium will play host to a live trial of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system on Saturday 25 March.

The trial will take place during a female exhibition match between the Central Coast Mariners Academy and North Shore Mariners, which will be a curtain raiser to the Mariners’ Round 24 clash against Adelaide United.

FFA will be conducting a live trial of the VAR system from 2:30pm, with the two female teams to play two 40 minute halves.

Gates open at 2:15pm which allows football fans to not only enjoy a high-quality game of female football but also gain a first-hand insight as to how the VAR system will operate.

Entry to the match is included with your match day ticket or Central Coast Mariners membership.

Match Details
Tickets:  CLICK HERE
Saturday 25 March 2017
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Women’s Game
Central Coast Mariners Academy Women vs. North Shore Mariners
Kick-off:  2:30pm
Men’s Game
Hyundai A-League 2016/17 – Round 24
Central Coast Mariners vs Adelaide United
Kick-off:  5:35pm
Official hash-tags:  #CCMvADL #CCMFC
TV Broadcast:  Fox Sports 505
Radio Broadcast:  96.3 Coast FM


Source : Football Federation Australia

Central Coast Mariners reveal plans for Central Coast Stadium

Stadium impression
The Central Coast Mariners have today unveiled their bold vision for Central Coast Stadium that has been formally presented to the Stadium’s current owners and operators, Central Coast Council in a bid to transform the venue into a world class entertainment hub.

Mariners’ owner Mike Charlesworth has instructed the club to formally present a management rights proposal to council, citing concerns that the current business model does not facilitate best practice which contributes to the lack of growth and improvement of Central Coast Stadium.

Central Coast Stadium was officially opened in February 2000 and has remained relatively untouched during its 17-years-of-existence which has resulted in the venue become dated and in need of immediate attention.

The Mariners’ five stage concept has been devised to ensure Central Coast Stadium meets stadium best practice and becomes a weather friendly, football friendly and digitally connected stadium that can facilitate Westfield W-League double headers and more. Following the upgrades, Central Coast Stadium would be in contention to host concerts, bigger events and trade seven days a week through café and retail precinct.

The main components of a stage one upgrade to Central Coast Stadium include:

  • Dual big screens in the south east and north west corners of the venue
  • Weather/sun protection over the northern grandstand
  • Yellow seats
  • Additional change rooms
  • Wi-Fi compatibility
  • State of the art sound system
  • Upgrade of the corporate facilities (including a 100-seat function room)
  • Retail and café precinct

The Central Coast Mariners five stage concept also includes a hotel with unmatched views of Brisbane Water.

To encourage investment into the Central Coast Region, the club’s concepts for Central Coast Stadium fall within a broader campaign that promotes #GrowthForGosford encouraging all community leaders, politicians, developers and anyone that has a vested interest in the growth of Gosford to stand up and present their vision for a better Gosford.The Central Coast Mariners next home game against Perth Glory on January 28 will be dedicated to the vision to grow Gosford and the club is formally inviting anyone who has a view for Gosford to present at Central Coast Stadium on game day. The aim is to not only present the Central Coast Mariners’ vision for Central Coast Stadium but unite all stakeholders who believe in #GrowthForGosford.

Central Coast Mariners Chief Executive Officer, Shaun Mielekamp is inviting all community leaders to attend our match on January 28 to present their ideas for Gosford. He said as the club continues to grow the Stadium must improve.

“As the Central Coast Mariners continue to grow, Central Coast Stadium must grow with us,” Mielekamp said. A necessity for our region is the improvement of Central Coast Stadium that is the only flag bearer for major infrastructure development in Gosford’s CBD over the past 17 years.

“Whilst there are certainly some hurdles ahead, we are confident there are also solutions. We cannot do this alone and need the stadium and infrastructure to grow if we have any chance of fulfilling our potential.

“New revenue opportunities presented by the stadium will empower us to invest long term towards our football resources. Our football will reap the rewards of the club’s growth and it is important to understand that this is a long term play for us to compete with the big four clubs who are growing bigger and faster every day.

“Unfortunately, in the last 17 years the only thing that has changed at the stadium is the height of the palm trees. Whilst it is the small day-to-day things that hinder events at the stadium such as a poor sound system, long bar and canteen lines, accessibility and weather protection – these frustrations, if unaddressed, are merely the tip of the iceberg.

“The worst thing that can happen is nothing. Our main priority is to drive change and growth. If the Mariners aren’t going to do it, then who is?

“The stadium is now and will always be our home. Like any home, the stadium can get tired and need some love and energy injected to keep it thriving,” Mielekamp said.

If you have any views or ideas to help grow Gosford we urge you to contact us via phone on 4353 7200 or via e-mail on for an opportunity to present at our match and unite to make a difference.

Football Federation Australia


Central Coast Mariners recruit hails Paul Okon influence

Central Coast Mariners forward Blake Powell says there has been a big jump in intensity at training under new coach Paul Okon as he prepares to face former club Wellington Phoenix this weekend.

With the Hyundai A-League season just three weeks away, the Mariners are keen to keep building on combinations under their new boss against the Nix at Knox Grammar on Saturday.

While the Mariners had their scheduled friendly against Brisbane Roar last weekend washed out, the Phoenix made a huge statement with a 4-1 drubbing of Melbourne City in Townsville.

For Powell – along with fellow Mariner Kwabena Appiah – it’s a first chance to get one over the club they played at in 2015/16. And he’s happy to pass on any information he can to help his side.

“I’m excited. It will be good to see all the guys again and I’m looking forward to catching up with them. Every soccer player would like bragging rights [against their former club],” Powell admitted to reporters on Thursday.

“But the main thing for me is to do my job well, if I do that I can hopefully set up other players and they can finish the job off.

Powell has been one of the Mariners most consistent performers in pre-season so far and says he’s relishing the no.10 role he’s being deployed in under Okon.

“It’s about me getting on that half turn and facing forward and playing those balls in for Connor Pain and Roy [O’Donovan] to go on and finish,” the 25-year-old said.

“We talk every day at training to try and familiarise ourselves with each other and different runs. It’s coming along well.

“I’ve seen a big improvement in the team since Paul’s come in. We’re training at a higher intensity which means our fitness is getting up there as well so we can compete,” Powell added on Okon.

“We have the talent in the team as well, so we can test ourselves against any team in the A-League.” For Appiah, he spent 18 months in Wellington but had little opportunity in the first team, with most of his 16 appearances coming off the bench. But he struck up a good friendship with Phoenix’s Dutchman Roly Bonevacia and he expects the banter to be flying between the pair on Saturday. “There’s always banter with that guy,” Appiah said with a smile. “He’s doesn’t take things in life too seriously, he just goes with it. “It will be good to play against him, he’s a good person and he helped me a lot in my time in Wellington when I wasn’t too happy.”

The livewire winger is hoping for a fresh start in Gosford after stints at the Wanderers and Phoenix, and has found the net a couple of times during pre-season. But it’s transferring that form into the Hyundai A-League which Appiah really wants, yet to find the back of the net in more than 40 appearances dating back to his debut in 2012.  “I’m very, very hungry. I’m going ballistic…I need to break that A-League duck,” Appiah said. “I’ve got confidence building up from scoring goals [in pre-season] and leading into the season, given the right opportunity if I do score it will open the floodgates.”


Football Federation Australia

Central Coast Mariners down Young Socceroos in Gosford


Thursday, 25 August 2016

Central Coast Mariners have beaten the Young Socceroos 2-1 in a behind-closed-doors friendly in Gosford on Thursday.

A Jake McGing header cancelled out a solo strike from Young Socceroo Bai Antoniou before Tom Lyons from the Mariners Academy scored with almost the final kick of the game at Central Coast Stadium to clinch a win for the Mariners.

Lyons has captained the under-20s academy side for most of the PS4 NPL 2 season before earning a regular place in the academy’s first team over the past month.

Paul Okon’s Young Socceroos are in preparations for the AFF U19 Championship (11-24 September in Hanoi) and AFC U19 Championship (13-30 October in Bahrain) with the ultimate goal to qualify for the FIFA U20 World Cup in 2017.

After an even opening 20 minutes, Young Socceroos opened the scoring thanks to a screamer from Antoniou who shot into the top corner, giving Necevski no chance in goals.

Necevski, Pain, Powell, Faty, Tavares, Neill, Appiah & Montgomery were all substituted in the second half with a range of academy players and trilaists featuring for the Mariners.

Buhagiar and Rose started the second half for the Young Socceroos and Buhagiar wasted no time getting involved.

The speedster made his way down the right wing and found himself in a position to shoot but his strike was saved by Necevski.

With 10 minutes to play Buhagiar went close again but Paul Izzo was on hand this time to shut down the danger.

Jake McGing levelled proceedings in the 75th minute from a corner.

Playing as a central midfielder, McGing jumped above the pack from a set piece and headed home to make it 1-1 with 15 minutes to go.

After subbing on in the second half, Lyons made a clever run down the left and found himself with a one-on-one opportunity that he slotted home with composure to seal a pre-season win at Central Coast Stadium.

Central Coast Mariners starting team: Ivan NECEVSKI, Nick MONTGOMERY, Jacques FATY, Mickey NEILL, Mickael TAVARES,  Jacke McGING, Kwabena APPIAH, Blake POWELL, Connor PAIN, Matthew FLETCHER

Young Socceroos (first half): Delianov, Mutch, Flottman, Timotheou, Bandiera, Baccus, Pandurevic, Shabow, Antoniou, Maia, Prasad

Young Socceroos (second half): Sozer. Vella, Ensor, Rowles, O’Toole, L.Rose, Buhagiar, Youlley Lokoli Ngoy, Mells, Champness


Football Federation Australia

January marquee transfer swoop for Central Coast Mariners?

Could the Mariners bring in a marquee during the January transfer window?

Monday, 20 June 2016

Josh Bennett @JoshBennett50
Central Coast Mariners boss Tony Walmsley said the club would dip further into the transfer market but revealed any potential marquee would likely be signed in the January 2017 transfer window.

“We’re being very careful about how to balance the squad now with who we bring in,” he told reporters on Monday as the club resumed pre-season training on the Coast.

“In terms of a marquee, I think we’ll be looking at the January time as we did this year to see how the club’s positioned and to see who in the marquee ranks is available and affordable for the Mariners.”


Last January, the club made a big splash bringing in former Liverpool and Spanish great Luis Garcia after he starred in a Liverpool Legends game in Sydney.

It gave the club a huge boost on and off the pitch. And the Spaniard was deemed a success despite not having done pre-season with the club.

His influence on younger players too will be felt in years to come while his presence gave the club a huge lift on and off the park.

The club now hopes they’ll be able to unearth another big name mid-season.

“I know Mike Charlesworth [Mariners owner] is certainly open to the prospect of bringing in another marquee for the back-end of the season,” said Walmsley.


Football Federation Australia