Northbridge FC

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North Shore Mariners
Full nameNorth Shore Mariners
Nickname(s)North Shore
Founded1952
GroundNorthbridge Oval
Capacity2,000
Technical DirectorRyan Grogan
ManagerJoe Haywood
LeagueNPL NSW2
2018Seniors: 3rd
Club Championship: 4th
WebsiteClub website

North Shore Mariners is an Australian semi-professional association football club based in suburb of Northbridge, Sydney, New South Wales. Founded in 1952, the club currently competes in the National Premier Leagues NSW 2, with matches played at Northbridge Oval. Northbridge is Australia's largest community club with over 2,500 register players.[1] The club has a youth development academy partnership with A-League club Central Coast Mariners with the teams playing at Northbridge now known as the North Shore Mariners. The partnership allows players from Central Coast Mariners to be loaned to Northbridge FC for playing experience while it also allows promising players coming through the academy to easily get trials with the A-League Club.

History[edit]

Northbridge FC was established in 1952 by local postman Ron Hall who had previously relocated from his work in the coalfields in the Cessnock area of the Hunter Valley. The club originally competed in the Northern Suburbs Soccer Association (NSSA). The original playing strip was a red and white shirt, white shorts and red and white hooped socks. In 1973, Northbridge joined the Ku-Ring-Gai and District Soccer Association (now the Northern Suburbs Football Association).[2]

NSW State League 1/NPL NSW 3[edit]

In 2011, after spending their entire existence in the local league, Northbridge FC successfully entered Football NSW's state league competition, the 3rd tier of NSW football and fourth tier overall.[3] They won the NSW State League Division One Premiership in 2013,[4] but went on to lose the Grand Final to Balmain in extra time.[5]

The 2014 season once again saw Northbridge fall short of the title – losing to Hakoah Sydney City East FC 3–2, with Hakoah going on to get promoted to the NSW NPL2.[6]

Throughout 2014 and the years leading up, Northbridge, experienced significant growth, with over 2,300 registered players in early 2014.[3] This made Northbridge the largest club in Australia by participation numbers.[7]

In 2014, Northbridge established an agreement with A-League club Central Coast Mariners to form a youth development academy in Sydney's North Shore.[8] As part of the partnership the North Shore Mariners Academy was based at Northbridge FC.[9] The move led to accusations from Sydney FC that the Mariners were encroaching on their territory.[10] On forming the partnership the Mariners stated that they believe Northbridge to be the biggest club (in terms of player numbers) in the Southern Hemisphere.[11]

In 2015 Northbridge had an incredible season losing only one game late in the season (Won 18, drew 3, lost 1) to take out the State League 1 premiership.[12] Northbridge went on to win their first State League 1 grand final in 3 attempts beating Hills Brumbies in an enthralling match, holding on to a 3–2 win, playing the last 15 minutes with 10 men.[13]

The 2015 season also saw Northbridge make waves in the NSW qualifying rounds of the FFA Cup (also known as the Waratah Cup) only just losing to NSW NPL1 side Sydney United 1–0 in the penultimate round before the FFA cup proper. Sydney United went on to qualify for the FFA cup and ended up winning the Waratah Cup.

NPL NSW 2 & Name Change[edit]

The stellar 2015 season saw Northbridge promoted to the National Premier Leagues NSW 2 competition for the first time in their history where they started the 2016 season alongside National Premier League debutants Sydney FC Youth, Western Sydney Wanderers FC Youth & Central Coast Mariners FC NPL.[14] Northbridge's first competitive fixture in the NPL2 saw them go down to 2015 NPL2 champions, Northern Tigers FC 2–0.

With the Central Coast Mariners affiliation in full flight, the club's senior teams changed their name and colours to reflect the Mariners and in doing so, became the North Shore Mariners.

The 2016 season saw more lows then highs for North Shore. Despite being competitive for the majority of games the seniors only managed to win 3 matches. The ultimate high though came in the last game of the season where North Shore needed all three senior divisions (U18's, U20's and 1st's) to win and results go their way in order to avoid relegation. All three divisions produced stellar performances and at the end of 2016 had finished 13th out of 14 on the Club Championship, thus avoiding relegation with Fraser Park FC dropping to the 3rd tier of NSW football instead.

2017 was a much more successful year for the North Shore outfit, with the Mariners quickly becoming the dark-horses of the competition and finishing the year in 5th position. Impressive results including a 4-0 win over eventual championship and premiers Marconi Stallions, and 6-1 win over Western Sydney Wanderers, the Mariners stormed into the Semi Finals. With a convincing 3-1 win over sister-club Central Coast Mariners in the quarter finals, the North Shore outfit looked promising in the lead up to the grand final, however it wasn't to be, with the Mariners losing out to Marconi Stallions in a tight contest that ended 2-0.

Another year of improvement in the NPL NSW 2 saw the senior team finish 3rd in the 2018 season one point behind St George FC who had come down from the top flight the year prior, and in front of their sister club Central Coast Mariners FC NPL. Though North Shore were eliminated in the first round of the finals, season 2018 was the highest league position finish for the club to date.

Association with Central Coast Mariners[edit]

The club has a youth development academy partnership with A-League club Central Coast Mariners with the teams playing at Northbridge now known as the North Shore Mariners. The North Shore Mariners Academy is administered by Northbridge FC, and will provide kids from Skills Acquisition Program (SAP) through to senior ranks in men's and women's competitions the opportunity to represent the 2013 Hyundai A-League Champions (Central Coast Mariners). As such, the prospects for the Club to not only recruit some of the state's best talent for its high-level pathways, but also increase its fan base, membership levels and promote interest in the club and the Hyundai A-League is considerable. Central Coast Mariners goal is to be in the top 100 development clubs in the world by the next FIFA World Cup in Russia in 2018. The partnership with Northbridge FC is the kick-start of a revitalised program. It has included set up a statewide scouting network, plus appointing a Head of Youth Football (Stu Jacobs) and Head of Junior Development (Rui Tomé). The partnership allows players from Central Coast Mariners to be loaned to Northbridge FC. It also allows promising players coming through the academy to easily get trials with the A-League Club. Northbridge FC also have the opportunity to play against the Central Coast Mariners in friendly or pre-season games.

Home ground[edit]

The club plays its home games at Northbridge Oval. The Oval had a million-dollar upgrade, including resurfacing with synthetic turf and new floodlights in early 2011.[15]

Northbridge is a suburb on the lower North Shore of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 7 kilometres north of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of Willoughby.

The majority of the Players come from the Lower North Shore, Upper North Shore and the Northern Beaches. Although some players do travel from the Central Coast, Western Sydney or Southern Sydney.

Current squad[edit]

As of 1st January 2019

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

No. Position Player
1 Australia GK Ryan Wood
2 Australia DF Brian Jamba
3 England DF Chris Lindsay
4 Australia DF Harrison Quirk
6 Australia MF Ricky Woodward
7 Republic of Ireland DF Tadhg Purcell
8 England DF James Scott
10 Australia DF Rainer Smahel
11 Australia FW Braden Cheng
12 Australia FW Mitchell Smith
13 England MF Marquin Smith
14 New Zealand FW Daniel Saric
15 Australia FW Joshua Mbakwe
16 Australia FW Nathan Separovic
No. Position Player
17 Australia MF Sean Eve
18 Australia MF Jesse Piriz
19 Australia DF Hugo Forlico
20 Australia FW Claudio Rosano
21 Australia DF Charlie Knight
36 Australia GK Josh Wilde
38 Australia MF Jake Chidiac
37 Australia FW Nelson Pyl
36 Australia DF Jasper Devitt Duckworth
41 Australia DF Jack Mcloughlin
33 Australia FW Zach Forsyth
42 Australia FW Shaunta Okada

Club officials[edit]

  • President: Rory Grace
  • Technical Director: Ryan Grogan
  • First Team Manager: Joe Haywood
  • First Team Assistant Manager: Dave Broadbent
  • First Grade Coach: Will Piriz
  • U20 Manager: Brian Baker
  • U20 Assistant Coach: Tadhg Purcell
  • Goalkeeping Coach: Elvis De-Marchi
  • Club Physio: Matthew Grant-Smith (Sport Focus Physiotherapy)

Honours[edit]

Notable Players[edit]

  • Tadhg Purcell
  • Lee Jones (Joner1on1 Football Training)
  • Gianni Stensness
  • Lewis Miller
  • Marley Peterson
  • Brian Jamba
  • Rick Woodward
  • Marquin Smith
  • Chris Lindsay
  • Michael Cole

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Northbridge FC welcomes a facilities upgrade to Northbridge Oval". footballnsw.com.au. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  2. ^ "Club history". northbridgefc.com.au. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  3. ^ a b Caryn Metcalfe (7 May 2014). "Northbridge FC smashing player participation records". The Daily Telegraph.
  4. ^ "Men's State League 1". Football NSW. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  5. ^ Frank Speranza (29 September 2013). "State League One Grand Final Review". Football NSW.
  6. ^ "2014 State League 1 Men's grand final". foxsportspulse.com. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  7. ^ "Artificial Grass for Northbridge Oval". footballnsw.com.au. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  8. ^ "Central Coast Mariners fix for fight with Sydney FC over junior talent". theaustralian.com.au. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  9. ^ "Central Coast Mariners announce Northbridge FC partnership". ccmariners.com.au. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  10. ^ Ray Gatt (4 November 2014). "Central Coast Mariners fix for fight with Sydney FC over junior talent". The Australian.
  11. ^ Tom Smithies (3 November 2014). "Central Coast Mariners plot raid on Sky Blues territory by opening academy on Sydney's north shore". The Daily Telegraph.
  12. ^ "Men's State league 1 grand final preview". footballnsw.com.au. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  13. ^ "North Shore Mariners crowned champions". footballnsw.com.au. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
  14. ^ "2016 declaration of leagues" (PDF). footballnsw.com.au. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  15. ^ Anne Davies, Kelsey Munro (2 May 2011). "Lights go out as strippers get to work". Sydney Morning Herald.

External links[edit]