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MEDIA RELEASE

Friday 3rd September 2021

Central Coast Mariners welcome W-League expansion news and confirm the club’s intention to enter the competition in 2022/23

The Central Coast Mariners welcome the great news today from the Australian Professional Leagues (APL) in regards to the expansion of the W-League. Central Coast Mariners can confirm that they will today submit a letter of intent to the APL to enter a team into the 2022/23 W-League season.

In line with the strategic plans for the APL, the Central Coast Mariners are determined to enter the W-League competition and complete the pathway to professional football for aspiring females on the Coast and in our Academy teams. This is a very important and logical step for the club to provide a completeness of brand and ensure that football remains the number one sport on the Central Coast, from grassroots through to the professional game in men’s and now women’s.

In addition, the Central Coast Mariners working with Central Coast Council have submitted an application to FIFA for the Central Coast to be nominated as a base camp for the upcoming Women’s World Cup in 2023. The Mariners inclusion into the W-League is an important step to ensure that the required infrastructure requirements are reached, and that the impact of the Women’s World Cup will hold long term benefits, leaving a great legacy for female sport on the Coast. If successful, the Central Coast region will also benefit, giving the community unique exposure to what will be the biggest football event ever held in Australia.

Furthermore, the additional home matches that the W-League will bring to the Central Coast provides not only more exciting match days for families to attend, but it will also aid job and economic growth for the region and become the 2nd team to represent the Central Coast on the national stage.

Shaun Mielekamp, Central Coast Mariners Chief Executive Officer, spoke of his excitement along with the planning and undertaking that it has taken to reach this point.

“This is tremendous news and whilst we are excited, we cannot get complacent, as there lies a lot of work ahead of us, hence, we are looking at entering the competition in the 2022/23 season.”

“The time is finally here after years of hard work, dedication, research and progress for the women’s game on the Coast. The opportunity is now right there for us to take advantage of, and the barriers of our past proposals no longer exist.”

“Our intention to enter the 2022/23 competition is also to ascertain that we have prepared in the correct way, to confirm all the boxes are ticked, stakeholders are consulted, and funding and resources are secured, ensuring that this is not a rushed process. We are adamant that our W-League team will require and use all the resources provided to them, in parity to our A-League team and the standards we uphold for them. This will take time as we will have to secure and confirm the correct training and playing facilities, as well as securing significant sponsorship and funding to ensure that the team are prepared and highly competitive in the W-League” Mielekamp added.

“Making this formal submission of intent is a huge step for the club and I look forward to working extremely closely with the APL to ensure that our strategy and submission to enter into the W-League is one of the most exciting and successful expansions ever made by the league”

“I know our community is ready and this is also fundamental to the long-term security and stability of the club on the Central Coast. The APL will not take the decision lightly and the reality is, we will have to prove without any doubt to them and the entire football community that we have the funds, resources, talent and infrastructure to deliver this. The whole country will be watching, and it is time to unlock and deliver the pathway for talented young female footballers on the Coast which previously was non-existent.”

The Central Coast Mariners will submit a completed strategy and plan for the APL to consider by the end of the year and seek to ensure that it is fully endorsed by the PFA to align and enhance the growth of the game in this country.

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Central Coast Mariners sign Frenchman Bèni Nkololo

The Central Coast Mariners are pleased to announce that they have signed French attacking player Bèni Nkololo on a deal that will see him call the Central Coast home for two years.

Nkololo has played in France for the entirety of his career, having an impressive season last campaign for US Concarneau, which saw them finish 5th in the French National League. The French National League has produced a number of talents with the likes of N’Golo Kanté being scouted from the division in the past. Nkololo has also gained the experience of playing Ligue 2 football with Stade Brestois 29 prior to moving to the Mariners.

Bèni is a versatile attacking player capable of playing wide and central positions and can generate good attacking moments for others as well as himself. While in quarantine, Bèni spoke of his path to Australia.

“I was scouted while playing in France and after putting in consistent performances, the Mariners got in touch. Now I am here in Australia and I am itching to get onto the park with my new team mates.”

“I have been chatting to Nick [Montgomery] over multiple video calls and I love the ideas he is looking to implement, and I am really keen to contribute and help the club achieve its objectives for the coming season.”

Our strong European scouting network identified Beni and Mariners Head Coach Nick Montgomery spoke of the delight in his squad taking shape.

“We are looking to assemble a strong squad this season.”

“Beni is a powerful, fast and athletic player and I am looking forward to him integrating into the squad along with Cy. His pace and finishing as well as his positional versatility will be a great asset to us” Montgomery said.

Nkololo is currently quarantining in Brisbane and will join his new team officially after the two weeks have expired.

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Central Coast Mariners FC

The Mariners fell to traditional rivals Newcastle on Wednesday, the Jets finishing 2-0 winners in the #F3Derby at Central Coast Stadium.

Goals to Roy O’Donovan and Lucas Mauragis in the first half were enough, as the Mariners missed out on the chance to secure their spot in the A-League finals.

Alen Stajcic made two changes to the Mariners side that beat Macarthur, with Daniel DeSilva replaced by Dan Bouman after picking up a knock in that game, while Dan Hall came in for Ruon Tongyik following his departure to link up with the Socceroos.

The Mariners looked dangerous early through Marco Urena as he forced a save from Jack Duncan after being set free by Kye Rowles, and then again after a superb releasing pass from Mark Birighitti only to then see his cut back intercepted.

It was to be the visitors who struck first though, as Roy O’Donovan finished off a counter attacking move, firing past Birighitti after being played in by Archie Goodwin.

Four minutes later it was two, this time Mauragis squeezing an effort home as the Jets broke once more, despite the best efforts of Birighitti and then Hall on the line.

Dan Bouman thought he had pulled one back just before half time only for the goal to be ruled out for offside in the build up, and Stajcic made two changes while down at the break, bringing on Alou Kuol for Matt Simon and Lewis Miller for Stefan Nigro.

Miller looked to cause problems down the right and was fouled a number of times for his troubles, while Stajcic introduced Michal Janota and Jaden Casella to the fray with 25 minutes to play for Oli Bozanic and Josh Nisbet.

Chances were few and far between as the Jets sat deep and got very physical with time winding down, and they held on to record a win and leave the Mariners still one point shy of a guaranteed finals berth.

Stajcic and his team will be looking to put it beyond doubt on Saturday though, when they host Western United in the final home game of the regular season. Click here to get your tickets!

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Central Coast Mariners FC

The Central Coast Mariners will celebrate the life of Archie King this weekend and at next Tuesday’s #F3Derby with a series of special initiatives across the Club.

Archie, aged 12 and a member of the Mariners Academy, was tragically killed in a car accident whilst travelling with his father and brother to Saturday morning training. Archie's brother has made a full recovery however, his father requires ongoing medical care.

This Sunday at Pluim Park, the Mariners NPL Men’s and Women’s First Grade teams will play their part of a day to celebrate Archie’s life, wearing a one-off ‘Fit for a King’ jersey, which the A-League team will also wear as warmup jerseys ahead of next Tuesday’s #F3Derby at Central Coast Stadium.

The NPL jerseys will be able to be purchased, while the A-League warm up shirts will be signed by the squad and auctioned off to raise money for the Kings.

Merchandise proceeds and donation collections from the day will go towards supporting the family, with father Neil still in hospital care in Sydney.

Mariners CEO Shaun Mielekamp said it was important for the Club to stand up and support the King family at an important time.

“This devastating tragedy has touched everyone at the club and the whole Football community on the Coast, as such it is so important for everyone at CCM to do what we can to support the family in the toughest of times,” he said.

“The Football community on the coast is one big family and to see the strength shown by the King’s has been nothing short of inspirational to all of us.”

“The Fit For A King fundraiser and Go Fund Me page are extremely important and special initiatives that I implore everyone to give as much support as you possibly can.”

“Sunday will be a very special day out at Pluim Park, as will Tuesday’s F3 Derby, and we encourage all fans to come out and support the King family and the Mariners in this endeavour.”

A fundraising dinner will be held at Mingara on June 19th, with tickets available to be purchased via the Fit for a King website here.

Mariners Academy Fixtures |
NPL2 Men | Sunday, 30th May @ Pluim Park
1st Grade: Central Coast Mariners v Mounties Wanderers – 3pm
U/20’s: Central Coast Mariners v Mounties Wanderers – 1pm

NPL2 Women | Sunday, 30th May @ Pluim Park
1st Grade: Central Coast Mariners v Inter Lions – 3pm
Reserve Grade: Central Coast Mariners v Inter Lions – 1:05pm
U/17’s: Central Coast Mariners v Inter Lions – 11:25am
U/15’s: Central Coast Mariners v Inter Lions – 9:55am
U/14’s: Central Coast Mariners v Inter Lions – 8:30am

NPL Youth | Sunday, 30th May @ Pluim Park
U/18’s: Central Coast Mariners v Manly United – 3pm
U/16’s: Central Coast Mariners v Manly United – 1:20pm
U/15’s: Central Coast Mariners v Manly United – 11:55am
U/14’s: Central Coast Mariners v Manly United – 10:20am
U/13’s: Central Coast Mariners v Manly United – 9am

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Mariners complete Bulls sweep with gutsy road win

The Central Coast Mariners moved closer to booking an A-League finals spot as they completed a clean sweep of Macarthur with a 2-1 win in Campbelltown on Thursday night.

Goals to Jack Clisby and Daniel DeSilva completed another comeback win for the visitors after they went behind early to Markel Susaeta’s goal.

Alen Stajcic made no changes to the side that lost narrowly to Melbourne City and with a point to prove the Mariners came out of the blocks quickly, Clisby firing over after he found space to shoot.

Macarthur fought their way back into the game though and went ahead after 17 minutes, a long ball over the top finding Susaeta running in behind and he deftly chipped Mark Birighitti to put his team in front.

From there the Mariners responded strongly, and drew level just after the half hour mark. A darting run from Marco Urena drew a number of defenders, before he played the ball to strike partner Matt Simon.

A deft touch from Simon put the ball into the path of Clisby and he gave Adam Federici no chance with a rocket into the far side of the goal.

The fullback almost had two as he struck the side netting moments later, and appeared to have a second when he put the ball in the net once more, only for an offside to be flagged in the leadup to the goal.

The Mariners fluency and width was causing problems for the hosts, while in the middle Oli Bozanic and Gianni Stensness controlled proceedings and the two sides went into half time locked at 1-1 but with the visitors on top.

It took just nine minutes of second half action for Stajcic’s side to pull ahead, with some wonderful combo play up front again.

Urena was at his best, getting to a long ball and cutting back inside before drawing a defender and laying the ball off to DeSilva, who curled an inch perfect strike past Federici and into the top corner.

From there it was a gutsy defensive effort as the Mariners dug in to keep at bay a Macarthur side pushing hard for an equaliser.

Federici kept Urena out after a good combination on the right, and Mark Birighitti was on hand to deny Macarthur at close range and from set pieces.

Alou Kuol almost pulled off a stunner after coming on as he turned two defenders inside out before having his shot saved, but the visitors were resolute and kept the Bulls out to finish victorious.

Attentions now turn to Tuesday’s #F3Derby at Central Coast Stadium. Get your tickets now!

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