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Central Coast Mariners FC
Central Coast FC Logo
Full name Central Coast Mariners FC
Nickname(s) The Mariners, The Coast
Founded 2004
Ground Bluetongue Stadium,
Gosford
(Capacity: 20,119)
Chairman Australia Ian Kiernan
Manager Australia Graham Arnold
League A-League
2009-10 8th (league)
Home colours
Away colours
Current season

Central Coast Mariners FC, also known as The Mariners or The Coast, are an Australian professional football (soccer) club based on the Central Coast of New South Wales, Australia. They participate in the A-League and are one of three teams from the state of New South Wales playing in the competition. The Mariners were the first professional football (soccer) club from the Central Coast to compete in a national competition,[1][2] and were formed during 2004 for the foundation of the A-League in 2005–06. Despite being considered one of the smaller franchises at the inception of the A-League competition,[2][3] Central Coast qualified for the first four domestic finals after their establishment.[4] The Mariners had a successful first season, winning the 2005 Pre-Season Cup and losing in the A-League grand final to Sydney FC.[5]

Central Coast made the final of the Pre-Season Cup again in 2006, however lost to Adelaide United. The Mariners came sixth in the 2006–07 A-League competition, and failed to qualify for the finals series.[6] The Mariners claimed their first A-League minor premiership in 2007–08 by goal difference, holding on after starting the season strongly. The Mariners defeated derby rivals Newcastle Jets in the major semi-final to qualify for the Grand Final, which they lost to the Jets 1–0.[7] In the 2008/2009 season The Mariners finished the home and away season in fourth place before slumping to 2 defeats from the QLD Roar in the minor semi-final legs 2–0 at home and 2–1 away.

Contents

History

The Central Coast Mariners' bid for a franchise in the Football Federation Australia's (FFA) new A-League competition aimed to fill the one spot for a regional team that was designated by the FFA.[8] Media speculation prior to announcement of the franchises in the new league suggested that the Mariners bid may be favourable due to its new blood. Backing from former Australian national team player and club technical director Alex Tobin, as well as Clean Up Australia personality Ian Kiernan - who would act as inaugural club chairman - also strengthened their proposal.[9] As the only regional bidder, the Mariners were expected to make it in to the league by default.[10] Following a reported signed deal with the FFA,[11] the club signed former Northern Spirit coach Lawrie McKinna as manager and Ian Ferguson, a former Rangers and Northern Spirit player as coach.[12] To aid the FFA's goals of building the profile of the sport, the Mariners created formal links with local state league team Central Coast United.[13] After much expectation, the club was announced as one of eight teams to become part of Football Australia's domestic competition, the Hyundai A-League on 1 November 2004.[14][15]

At the time of the formation of the new league in 2004, the club was owned by Spirits Sports and Leisure Group.[16] The club announced early on its search for a star player under the leagues' allowance for one star player outside of the $1.5 million salary cap, insisting that the player should not look at the position as a retirement fund.[17] Coach Lawrie McKinna sought interest from Australia national football team players Ante Milicic and Simon Colosimo, and also announced that he may sign more than the three required under-20 players.[18] Early concerns for the club centred around the concerns over financial stability, but after forming a partnership with technology giants Toshiba and a cash injection from local businessman John Singleton, the clubs financial worries were eased.[19][20] McKinna was keen to sign local player Damien Brown of Bateau Bay, formerly of the Newcastle Jets.[21] In a decision which prompted the player to declare that he was "over the moon", Brown became the first player to sign with the club. Club chairman Lyall Gorman was pleased that a local had become a "foundation player" and part of Brown's role would be to assist with selection of younger players from the local area.[22] By early December 2004, the club had created a steady foundation of player signings and began negotiations with former Perth Glory striker Nik Mrdja,[23] signing him later in the month as their star striker.[24] Mrjda was one of the most prominent players in the last season of the National Soccer League, shooting the final goal to secure Perth Glory's finals win.[25] The club management were reluctant to sign a star player outside of the $1.5 million salary cap, stipulating that they "would have to contribute on the pitch and get people to come to the ground."[26]

The Mariners celebrate their 2005 Pre-Season Cup win at Bluetongue Central Coast Stadium.

The Mariners' inaugural season was considered a resounding success by many,[3][27] with the team reaching the A-League grand final after finishing third during the regular season.[28] They were defeated by Sydney FC 1–0 in the grand final, playing in front of a crowd of 41,689 - a competition record at the time.[29] The Mariners also won the 2005 Pre-Season Cup, defeating Perth Glory in the final 1–0.[30]

The Mariners developed a strong rivalry with Newcastle Jets throughout their first season, often referred to as the "F3 derby".[31] The naming is a reference to the unofficial designation of the Sydney-Newcastle Freeway, the major motorway which joins the two clubs.[32]

Prior to the 2006–07 season, the Mariners secured the services of then Australian international Tony Vidmar from NAC Breda for two years.[33] This was the Mariners' first marquee signing, following the lead of Sydney FC (Dwight Yorke) and Adelaide United (Qu Shengqing).[34] The Coast again reached the grand final of the Pre-Season Cup, losing to Adelaide United 5-4 on penalties after scores were tied 1–1 after extra time.[35] Central Coast then participated in the 2006–07 A-League season, however were unable to gain a spot in the final series, finishing sixth after the regular season.[6]

Club captain Noel Spencer was released by the mariners then signed to participate in the Asian Champions League by Sydney FC after the 2006–07 season, and Alex Wilkinson was appointed the new captain. Only 22 years of age at the time, Wilkinson had played every competitive match for the Mariners up to his appointment.[36]

The 2008-2009 season saw Central Coast win their first championship on goal difference ahead of Newcastle, following a remarkable final round which began with all four of the top teams equal on 31 points. The final series began badly for the club, losing the first leg of their major semi final 2-0 in Newcastle however they were able to come back to be 2-0 ahead in the second leg after 90 minutes, taking the match to extra time. A 95th minute goal then won the tie for Central Coast 3-2 on aggregate, putting them through to the grand final, where they again faced Newcastle. Newcastle defeated Central Coast 1-0 in the grand final, however the match ended in controversy with an apparent hand-ball, which would have given Central Coast a penalty and a chance to equalise. Furious that the penalty was not given goalkeeper, Danny Vukovic struck the referee, for which he was immediately sent off and later banned.

Goalkeeper Danny Vukovic was suspended from both domestic and international competition for striking referee Mark Shield in the A-League Grand Final in February, 2008. Despite appeals, the ban was eventually confirmed by FIFA in June, to include banning the young keeper from competing at the 2008 Olympic Games.[37] The ban involves games at all levels up till October 6, 2008.

Due to Central Coast losing their first choice keeper for the first couple months of the season, the Mariners have signed high profile former Manchester United and Socceroos keeper, Mark Bosnich, on a seven week contract. This is the first time Mark has played professional football since a disappointing departure from the game back in 2002.

In February of this year, the Central Coast Mariners signed an arrangement with English Football League Championship side Sheffield United. The partnership between the Mariners, The Blades and other partner clubs including Ferencváros of Hungary, Chengdu Blades of China, São Paulo of Brazil and White Star Woluwé of Belgium will benefit the club in being able to provide an opportunity for the youth programme of the club to develop by touring the world and develop their footballing background, whilst in reverse, the Mariners will be able to share in having some of Sheffield United’s Youth Academy or reserve team prospects available to play. Current Western Sydney triallist Gregor Pac is leading the way out of the many fine Youth Academy players that could take advantage of this overseas link.

Colours and badge

The Mariners' home jersey is predominantly navy with one yellow stripe running down the centre. The away uniform is a plain yellow jersey.[38]

The Mariners enjoyed considerable success in the 2005–06 away strip.[39] In twelve competitive matches, the Mariners achieved five wins, six draws and only one loss. The loss to derby rivals Newcastle was the only time the Mariners failed to score while playing away in the 2005–06 season.[39]

The team logo is a yellow football at the centre of a blue curling wave, which symbolises the beaches of the Central Coast.[40]

Stadium

Bluetongue Stadium, with Brisbane Water shown partially at the top.

The Central Coast Mariners play their home games at Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford. It is located in Grahame Park, between the Gosford CBD and the Brisbane Water foreshore. It is constructed to make the most of its location, being open at the southern end, giving filtered views of Brisbane Water through a row of large palm trees. It is within walking distance of Gosford railway station and is adjacent to the Central Coast Leagues Club.[41]

Two other names for the stadium have been used during the Mariners' tenancy: Central Coast Express Advocate Stadium and Central Coast Stadium.[42][43]

As of December 2007, the Mariners are the only national sporting team to use the stadium. The Central Coast Rays rugby union team also used the stadium in the Australian Rugby Championship's only season in 2007.

While the stadium has a capacity of 20,119,[I] the Mariners highest attendance is 19,238 against Newcastle Jets in its round 19 the 2007-08 season.[44]

Supporters

The Marinators at an away game against rivals Newcastle Jets.

The main supporter base of the Central Coast Mariners is called the Marinators.[45] The Marinators are an obvious presence at home games played at Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford and are known for their continuous singing and support coming primarily from Bay 22, which is directly behind the goal posts at the northern end of the stadium.[46][47] Standard chants include the Yellow Submarine-inspired "We all follow a yellow football team", a reference to the colour of the team's kit.[48]

The Marinators are a loose informal self-identifying support base that is vocal and encourages the wearing of yellow. There was no fee or formal membership-based group during the first two seasons of the A-League competition; they received donations from members and sponsorships from local businesses in the Central Coast region and from the Central Coast Mariners Football Club. They became particularly visible through selling Marinators shirts during the lead up to the inaugural A-League season, before replica shirts were available.[49]

On 19 May 2007 the Marinators established a formal support structure when they set up a sub-club of Central Coast Leagues Club. The official 'Marinators Club' enables the co-ordinators to be more accountable for funds raised and spent, and also allows for some public liability insurance for any 'Marinators Club' trips or outings.[49]

Affiliated Clubs

Current squad

A-League Squad

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Australia GK Andrew Redmayne
2 Wales MF Matthew Crowell
3 Australia MF Shane Huke
4 Australia DF Predrag Bojić
5 Australia MF Brad Porter
6 Australia FW Brady Smith
7 Malta MF John Hutchinson (Vice-Captain)
10 Australia MF Panny Nikas
11 Australia FW Dylan Macallister
12 Australia MF Matthew Lewis
No. Position Player
13 Wales FW Jonathan Brown
15 Australia DF Andrew Clark
17 Scotland DF Chris Doig
18 Australia DF Alex Wilkinson (Captain)
19 Australia FW Matthew Simon
20 Australia GK Danny Vukovic
21 Australia MF Ahmed Elrich
22 England MF Nicky Travis
23 Australia FW Adam Kwasnik
- Australia DF Joshua Rose
- Australia MF Mustafa Amini

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
8 Australia DF Dean Heffernan (on loan to Huddersfield Town F.C.)
9 Australia FW Nik Mrdja (on loan to Melbourne Victory)
14 New Zealand MF Michael McGlinchey (on loan to Motherwell F.C.)

Youth League Squad

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Australia GK Matthew Ryan
2 Australia DF Nathan Sherlock
3 Australia DF Jerry Kalouris
4 Australia DF Matthew Liddall
5 Australia DF Luka Dukic
6 Australia MF Panny Nikas (Captain)
7 Australia GK Andy Fortier
8 Australia MF Nicholas Fitzgerald
9 Australia FW Gavin Forbes
10 Australia MF Matthew Lewis
No. Position Player
11 Australia MF Mitchell Mallia
12 Australia MF Graz Trimboli
14 Australia FW Brady Smith
15 Australia DF Adam Ormsby
17 Australia MF David Gullo
18 Nigeria FW Bernie Ibini-Isei
20 Australia GK Nikodin Matic
-- Australia GK Nathan Kenyon
-- Australia MF Brendan Griffin

Note: Over age or senior contracted players do not have specific shirt numbers. Instead, senior players use any shirt number not used by the match-day youth squad.

W-League Squad

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 United States GK Jillian Loyden
2 Australia DF Caitlin Cooper (Captain)
3 Australia DF Lyndsay Glohe
4 Australia DF Rachael Doyle
5 Australia DF Jessica Seaman
6 Australia MF Karina Roweth
7 Australia MF Teresa Polias
8 Australia FW Kelly Golebiowski
9 Australia MF Renee Rollason
10 United States DF Kendall Fletcher
11 Australia FW Michelle Heyman
No. Position Player
12 Australia DF Samantha Spackman
13 Australia MF Trudy Camilleri
14 Australia FW Ashleigh Connor
15 Australia MF Elizabeth O'Reilly
16 Australia FW Jenna Kingsley
17 Australia MF Britt Simmons
18 Australia FW Caitlin Foord
19 United States MF Lydia Vandenbergh
20 Australia GK Rachel Cooper
-- Australia MF Gillian Foster

Former Notable Players

Australia

Germany

Republic of Ireland

Scotland

Records

As of 31 December 2009. Only competitive matches are counted.

Club captain Alex Wilkinson has played the most games for the Mariners in A-League competition, with 104. Wilkinson played in every competitive match for the Central Coast Mariners during the first two seasons of the A-League competition.[50]

Australians Adam Kwasnik and Matt Simon have scored the most goals for Central Coast in the A-League competition, with 17 each.[51] [52]

The Mariners highest attendance at their home stadium, Bluetongue Stadium, is 19,238 against the Newcastle Jets in its round 19 match of the 2007-08 season. This was the second highest crowd at the ground for any sport since the ground's first match in February 2000.

The Mariners have a short tradition of playing matches on New Years Eve, and have experienced increased turnouts to fixtures on this date.[53]

A-League top scorers
Name Goals Games Average Years
1 Australia Matt Simon 17 62 0.27 2006-
1 Australia Adam Kwasnik 17 80 0.21 2005-08, 2009-
3 Malta John Hutchinson 15 95 0.16 2005-
4 Australia Sasho Petrovski 14 39 0.36 2007-09
5 Australia Nik Mrdja 13 43 0.27 2005-
5 Scotland Stewart Petrie 10 41 0.24 2005-07
5 Australia Dean Heffernan 10 63 0.16 2005-
8 Australia Mile Jedinak 8 44 0.18 2005-08
9 Australia John Aloisi 7 15 0.47 2007-08
9 Australia Tom Pondeljak 7 55 0.13 2005-08
11 Australia Damian Mori 6 8 0.75 2006
Table up-to-date as of 31 December 2009.

Club officials

Board of Directors

  • President: Australia Ian Kiernan
  • Chairman: Australia Lyall Gorman
  • Deputy Chairman: Australia Peter Turnbull
  • Chief Executive Officer: Australia John McKay

Football Department

Managers

As of 31 December 2009. Only competitive matches are counted.

Since forming prior to the 2005–06 A-League season, the Central Coast Mariners have had only one manager.

Name Nat. From To Record
P W D L F A
Lawrie McKinna Scotland 2004 2010 138 50 39 49 186 167

Achievements

Notes

I^i ^ii : Currently, the official Bluetongue Stadium website lists the capacity as 20,059 whereas both Central Coast Mariners FC and AuStadiums list it as 20,119.[1][55][56] The all-time record crowd at the stadium is also 20,059 - recorded during a NRL match - making it implausible for that figure to also be the maximum capacity.
II^ : Ferguson played for the Mariners whilst acting as assistant coach of the club.[2] This was due to a desperate lack of player numbers through injury during the Mariners' 2005–06 season.
III^ : Clark acts as Strength & Conditioning manager as an extension of his playing duties for the club.[57]

References

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  37. ^ FIFA crush Vukovic's Olympic dream
  38. ^ "Inside Central Coast: Yellow, Navy & White". Central Coast Mariners official website. 2006-08-30. http://www.ccmariners.com.au/default.aspx?s=newsdisplay&id=4844&pageid=264. Retrieved 2006-09-30. 
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  44. ^ "Jets finals bound after derby win". Gosford: Foxsports. 2008-01-12. http://www.foxsports.com.au/story/0,8659,23044026-5000940,00.html. Retrieved 2008-01-13. 
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  50. ^ "Player Profile: Alex Wilkinson". Central Coast Mariners official website. http://www.ccmariners.com.au/default.aspx?s=aleague_profile&pid=714&tid=2. Retrieved 2009-12-31. 
  51. ^ "Player Profile: Adam Kwasnik". Central Coast Mariners official website. http://www.ccmariners.com.au/default.aspx?s=aleague_profile&pid=729&tid=2. Retrieved 2009-12-31. 
  52. ^ "Player Profile: Matt Simon". Central Coast Mariners official website. http://www.ccmariners.com.au/default.aspx?s=aleague_profile&pid=731&tid=2. Retrieved 2009-12-31. 
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  54. ^ "Sydney FC: The road to Tokyo". Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). http://www.fifa.com/en/comp/Clubworld/tournament/0,6537,CWC-2005-26,00.html. Retrieved 2007-03-25. 
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