Central Coast Mariners FC
|Full name||Central Coast Mariners FC Pty Ltd|
|Majority Owner||Michael Charlesworth|
|Head coach||Phil Moss|
|2012–13 A-League||2nd (League)
1st (2012–13 A-League Champions)
Central Coast Mariners FC is a professional soccer club based on the Central Coast of New South Wales, Australia. They participate in the A-League and are one of four teams from the state of New South Wales playing in the competition. The Mariners were the first professional soccer club from the Central Coast to compete in a national competition, 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, the club has been one of the most successful, with two Premier's Plates, two second placings, six finals series appearances in eight seasons, one Championship from four Grand Final appearances and three appearances in the AFC Champions League.
The club's training grounds are located at the Mariners Centre of Excellence in , a facility which when completed will also become the permanent headquarters for the club.
- 1 History
- 2 Colours and badge
- 3 Stadium
- 4 Supporters
- 5 Rivalries
- 6 Affiliated clubs
- 7 Current squad
- 8 Captains
- 9 Club officials
- 10 Honours
- 11 Records
- 12 All-time matches win/loss
- 13 See also
- 14 References
- 15 External links
Lawrie McKinna era
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. 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. As the only regional bidder, the Mariners were expected to make it into the league by default. Following a reported signed deal with the FFA, the club signed former Northern Spirit coach Lawrie McKinna as manager and Ian Ferguson, a former Rangers and Northern Spirit player, as coach. 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. After much expectation, the club was announced as one of eight teams to become part of Australian Soccer Association's domestic competition, the Hyundai A-League, on 1 November 2004.
At the time of the formation of the new league in 2004, the club was owned by Spirits Sports and Leisure Group. 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. Coach Lawrie McKinna sought interest from Australia national football team players Ante Milicic and Simon Colosimo, and announced that he may sign more than the three required under-20 players. 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 club's financial worries were eased. McKinna was keen to sign local player Damien Brown of Bateau Bay, formerly of the Newcastle Jets. 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. By early December 2004, the club had created a steady foundation of player signings and began negotiations with former Perth Glory striker Nik Mrdja, signing him later in the month as their star striker. 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. 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."
The Mariners' inaugural season was considered a resounding success by many, with the team reaching the A-League grand final after finishing third during the regular season. 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. The Mariners also won the 2005 Pre-Season Cup, defeating Perth Glory in the final 1–0.
The Mariners developed a strong rivalry with Newcastle Jets throughout their first season, often referred to as The F3 Derby. The naming is a reference to the unofficial designation of the Sydney-Newcastle Freeway, the major motorway which joins the two clubs.
Prior to the 2006–07 season, the Mariners secured the services of then Australian international Tony Vidmar from NAC Breda for two years. This was the Mariners' first marquee signing, following the lead of Sydney FC (Dwight Yorke) and Adelaide United (Qu Shengqing). 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. Central Coast then participated in the 2006–07 A-League season, but were unable to gain a spot in the final series, finishing sixth after the regular season.
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.
In February 2008, 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 benefits the club by providing an opportunity for the youth programme of the club to develop by touring the world and developing 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 led the way out of the many fine Youth Academy players that it is hoped could take advantage of this overseas link.
The 2007–08 season saw Central Coast win their first premiership 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 what replays have shown to be a handball in the Central Coast penalty box, which would have given Central Coast a penalty and a chance to equalise. In a heated discussion after the penalty was not given, goalkeeper Danny Vukovic brushed away the Referee's hand, this was controversially referred to as a strike resulting in Vukovic's immediate send off and later suspension.
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. The ban involved games at all levels up till 6 October 2008.
Due to Central Coast losing their first choice keeper for the first couple months of the season, the Mariners signed high profile former Manchester United and Socceroos keeper, Mark Bosnich, on a seven-week contract. This is the first time Bosnich had played professional football since 2003, due to drug problems.
The 2008–09 season was disappointing compared to the standards set in the previous season, although the club narrowly qualified for the finals, finishing in fourth, two points ahead of Sydney F.C. and Wellington Phoenix. They lost 4–1 on aggregrate in their minor semi-final against Queensland Roar, ending their season.
Graham Arnold era
In February 2010, following the conclusion of the club's disappointing 2009–10 season, McKinna chose to move into a new role, becoming the club's Football and Commercial Operations Manager. Socceroos assistant manager Graham Arnold was appointed as the club's new manager, becoming only the club's second manager.
In the lead-up to the 2010–11 season, a number of transfers took place, resulting in a number of changes to the club's squad. In June 2010, the club announced the signing of Argentine 2005 Under 20's World Cup winner Patricio Perez, followed by Dutch defender Patrick Zwaanswijk.
In July 2010, it was announced that the Mariner's W-League Women's team would not compete in the 2010–11 Westfield W-league competition. The club stated financial reasons were behind the decision, after Football NSW withdrew its funding.
In spite of relatively low expectations in the lead up to the season, the 2010–11 season was extremely successful for the club, with the A-league and youth league teams both finishing 2nd in their respective leagues in the regular season. The senior team were then defeated by the premiers, Brisbane Roar, 4–2 on aggregate over two legs in their major semi-final, before defeating Gold Coast United 1–0 in the Preliminary Final to qualify for the grand final against Brisbane. By reaching the grand final, the club also qualified for the 2012 AFC Champions League. In a thrilling grand final, the Mariners were defeated 4–2 in a penalty shootout after leading 2–0 with three minutes remaining in extra time to finish runners-up for the third time.
The 2011–12 season was similarly successful, with the club winning the premiership for the second time in their history, with 51 points, 2 more than second placed Brisbane. The club failed to qualify for a second successive grand final, however, losing 5–2 on aggregate to Brisbane Roar in the Major Semi-Final and 5–3 on penalties after a 1–1 draw with Perth Glory in the Grand Final Qualifier.
Arnold re-signed with the club for a further two seasons on 30 August 2013; however on 14 November it was confirmed that he had signed a two-year contract to become manager of J. League Division 1 side Vegalta Sendai, starting in January 2014  and that former assistant manager Phil Moss would become Head Coach with immediate effect.
Colours and badge
The Mariners' home jersey is predominantly yellow with navy blue sleeves. The away uniform is a predominately plain navy blue jersey with yellow on the collar and on the edge of the sleves. The Mariners enjoyed considerable success in the 2005–06 away strip. 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 during the season. In the 2011–12 season, the club had their kits manufactured by Hummel, as the A-League's Reebok deal expired at the conclusion of the 2010–11 season. In September 2012 it was announced that the Mariners had signed a 2 year deal with Kappa for them to be the official apparel supplier. The team logo is a yellow football at the centre of a blue curling wave, which symbolises the beaches of the Central Coast.
The Central Coast Mariners play their home games at Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford. It is located in Grahame Park, between the Gosford Central Business District 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.
In addition to the Yellow Army, the Central Coast Mariners Official Supporters Club was established during 2013 to build closer relations between the club, active supporters, members and the general public and to further promote the Mariners within the community.
The Mariners have two main rivalries, linked by their proximity:
- Newcastle Jets – (The F3 Derby). This rivalry, which gets its name from the freeway that links and and passes through the Central Coast, dates back to the formation of the A-League when fans of the NSL-era Newcastle United changed allegiance to the newly formed Mariners.
- Sydney FC – This rivalry, also dating back to the formation of the A-League, grew out of the proximity of the two newly formed sides to each other.
Through an investment in the Mariners by Sheffield United the club has the following international affiliations:
- Sheffield United
- Chengdu Blades
- São Paulo FC
- Strindheim IL
- Tata Football Academy
- White Star Woluwé
As of 1 November 2013 Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Internationally Capped Players
|Michael McGlinchey||New Zealand||22||(3)||2009–|
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
|#||Name||First captaincy||Games as captain||Wins||Draws||Losses|
|1||Noel Spencer||26 August 2005||40||13||14||13|
|2||Alex Wilkinson||12 November 2006||97||42||23||32|
|3||Tony Vidmar||31 August 2007||5||3||1||1|
|4||John Hutchinson||23 September 2007||4||1||1||2|
|5||John Aloisi||19 January 2008||1||1||0||0|
|6||Patrick Zwaanswijk||8 October 2011||3||0||1||2|
Board of Directors
- Patron: Hon. Neville Wran AC, QC
- Chairman and Majority Owner: Michael Charlesworth
- Director and Group General Manager: Peter Turnbull
- Director: Kevin McCabe
- Director: Bob Graham
- Head Coach: Phil Moss
- Assistant Coach: Wayne O'Sullivan
- Youth Coach: Patrick Zwaanswijk
- Youth Development Co-ordinator: Damien Brown
- Head of Sports Science / Fitness Coach: Andrew Clark
- Goalkeeping Coach: John Crawley
- Club Ambassador: Lawrie McKinna
- As of 14 November 2013. Only competitive matches are counted.
|Lawrie McKinna||2004||2010||145||52||41||52||194||179||1 A-League Premiership
1 A-League Pre-Season Challenge Cup
|Graham Arnold||2010||2013||112||54||31||27||168||118||1 A-League Championship
1 A-League Premiership
- Mariners Medal
Every year, the Mariners Medal, the club's most prestigious award, is given to the player of the season, as voted by the playing group.
- 2005–06: Michael Beauchamp
- 2006–07: Danny Vukovic
- 2007–08: Mile Jedinak
- 2008–09: Matt Simon
- 2009–10: Danny Vukovic
- 2010–11: Joshua Rose
- 2011–12: Mathew Ryan
- 2012–13: Trent Sainsbury
- Joe Marston Medal (2):
- A-League Golden Boot (2):
- A-League Rising Star (2):
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.
Club captain John Hutchinson has played the most games for the Mariners in A-League competition.
|1||Matt Simon||43||128||0.34||2006–12, 2013-|
|2||Adam Kwasnik||36||135||0.27||2005–08, 2009–|
- Table up-to-date as of 4 December 2012.
All-time matches win/loss
Last updated 27 October 2013
|Gold Coast United||9||2||5||2||14||11||+3|
|New Zealand Knights||6||4||1||1||7||3||+4|
|North Queensland Fury||6||4||2||0||12||5||+7|
|Western Sydney Wanderers||5||2||2||1||5||2||+3|
Last updated 17 May 2013
|Suwon Samsung Bluewings||2||1||1||0||1||0||+1|
- Central Coast Mariners W-League
- Central Coast Mariners Academy
- List of Central Coast Mariners FC seasons
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- FIFA crush Vukovic's Olympic dream
- "McKinna to take on new role". Ccmariners.com.au. 9 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-05.
- "Mariners snare World Cup winning Argentine". Ccmariners.com.au. 28 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-18.
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- "Statement regarding Westfield W-League". Ccmariners.com.au. 29 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-29.
- "A-league 2010/11: A Complete Guide to Every Team". Goal.com. 4 August 2010. Retrieved 2011-03-10.
- "Child's Play for Mariners as second spot is sewn up". Ccmariners.com.au. 10 February 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-10.
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- "Mariners narrowly miss out on home Grand Final". Ccmariners.com.au. 27 February 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-10.
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- Central Coast Mariners official website
- A-League official website
- Football Federation Australia official website
- Central Coast Mariners FC Android application