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Central Coast Mariners FC

Central Coast Mariners complete sweep of NPL2 |

The Central Coast Mariners Academy has completed a clean sweep of the New South Wales National Premier Leagues 2 senior competition, adding the 1st Grade and U/20’s Championships to the Premierships and Club Championship already claimed this season.

After claiming their Premiership with a week to spare in the regular season, the Mariners U/20’s turned it on in the Grand Final on Saturday against Hakoah Sydney City East, with a three-goal first half paving the way for a 5-1 win.

Ruben Awaritefe scored first before Zac Waddell and Jake Jovanovski rounded out the first half, and Jovanovski added another in the second half with Tyson Savas grabbing the fifth late in the game.

At 5:30pm it was the turn of first grade, and Alou Kuol put the Mariners ahead from the spot after earning a penalty to put the Mariners up by a goal at the break.

Tigers hit back in the second half and even took a late lead, but Max Balard’s free kick tied the game and sent it to extra-time.

From there, the Mariners demonstrated their attacking flair with four goals in extra time through braces to Matt Hatch and Harry McCarthy to seal the win.

Young centre back Dan Hall was rewarded for an outstanding performance with the Player of the Game medal by Football NSW.

Central Coast Mariners Academy Director Ken Schembri praised the extended group, who train together under the guidance of Nick Montgomery and Sergio Raimundo, and all the staff for their brilliant year in difficult circumstances.

“We’re incredibly proud of what the whole NPL group has achieved in 2020 and today’s rewards are a direct result of the players and staff working together” Schembri said.

“To cap off a successful season with the Grand Finals today is a good sign for our Club as we continue to develop talented young footballers.”

Shaun Mielekamp, Mariners CEO, lauded the achievements of the Academy teams and staff for their performances through the COVID-shortened season.

“All the players and staff in our Academy have put in a huge amount of work this season and to sweep the senior competitions in NPL2 is no small feat,” Mielekamp said.

“These boys are showing that there is a bright future for this club, and some of them have already shown their potential at the A-League level.”

“I’d like to congratulate Ken, Monty, Sergio and all those involved this season and can’t wait to see what the future brings.”

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Chris Harold retires from professional football

The Central Coast Mariners can today confirm that Chris Harold has made the decision to retire from professional football, effective immediately.

The 28-year old, who joined the Mariners in the January window and debuted in the 49th F3Derby, will instead pursue a career in law for which he has finished his university studies.

Harold scored twice and assisted once in his short stint with the Mariners before the COVID-enforced break earlier this year and despite signing a new two contract before the hiatus, made the decision not to return for the season remainder.

During time off back in Perth, Harold came to the decision to retire and is adamant that it is the right call for him to make.

"For me, the decision was one of excitement and fond reflection,” Harold said this week.

“It's not as if football will suddenly cease to be a part of my life, it will just take on a new role."

"This whole COVID period has given people a chance to take a step back and reflect on their lives in their current form and the mental clarity that came with the time away helped me understand that my priorities had changed and it was time to move into the next phase in my life."

"I maintained a law degree for nine years whilst I was playing.”

“That's a hell of a lot of work on top of being a professional athlete. But now, I have had the power to make my own decisions for me and my family and not felt tied down by people within the game."

Harold retires as the games record holder for Perth Glory, who he played for prior to the Mariners, and Mariners Head Coach Alen Stajcic wished him the best of luck in his next chapter.

“Chris was only with us for a short period but during that time his professionalism and work ethic were clear to see, and he was a great addition for us.”

“All of us here at the club support the decision he’s making and wish him the best of luck for the next chapter of his life.”

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Mariners goalkeeper Mark Birighitti has added his name to a prestigious list, claiming the 2020 Mariners Medal sponsored by Collaborative Construction Solutions on Thursday night after a strong debut season in the Yellow & Navy.

The 2020 Mariners Medal dinner was a stark contrast to previous years, presented on a smaller scale at Mingara Recreation Club in compliance with COVID-19 protocols and with only players, club staff and club partners in attendance.

Birighitti arrived from Melbourne City during the off-season last year and quickly established himself as a bona fide number one in Gosford, making a number of stunning saves throughout the campaign including his heroics in the FFA Cup that sent the Mariners into the quarter finals.

The 29-year old made more saves than any other goalkeeper in the competition with 99, and on Thursday night was also recognised by his colleagues as the Player’s Player of the Year and the McDonald’s Fan’s Player of the Year also.

Scottish defender Ziggy Gordon picked up a couple of honours, awarded the Official Supporters Club Player of the Year for his efforts throughout, as well as receiving the Men of Football Damien Brown Medal.

After a big first season at senior level Gianni Stensness was awarded the Yellow & Navy Foundation Newcomer of the Year award, and also took home the Noel Spencer Goal of the Year gong for his bicycle kick effort in Round 21 against Western United.

The Central Coast Mariners Chairman’s Award was presented to Cheyanne Pay, the Club’s event coordinator who assumed the role of COVID Officer during the restart to ensure that Players and Staff could finish the season safely.

The contribution of Volunteers to the Club, which is so valuable to Hyundai A-League matchdays and events was also recognised as Caroline Sutas was awarded the University of Newcastle Volunteer of the Year award.

A full list of awards can be seen below.

Full Honour Roll |

Mariners Medal sponsored by Collaborative Construction Solutions – Mark Birighitti

Central Coast Mariners Golden Boot – Milan Duric

Central Coast Mariners Player’s Player – Mark Birighitti

Central Coast Mariners McDonald’s Fan’s Player of the Year - Mark Birighitti

Central Coast Mariners Official Supporters Club Player of the Year – Ziggy Gordon

Men of Football Damien Brown Medal – Ziggy Gordon

Yellow & Navy Foundation Newcomer of the Year – Gianni Stensness

Central Coast Mariners Goal of the Year – Gianni Stensness

University of Newcastle Volunteer of the Year – Caroline Sutas

Chairman’s Award – Cheyanne Pay

Foxtel Y-League Player of the Year – Dan Hall

Central Coast Mariners Five Years of Service Recognition – Shaun Mielekamp, Mel Woods, Adam Pearce, Keith Bain, Dan Challinor

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The Central Coast Mariners can today confirm the transfer of Sam Silvera to Portuguese club Futebol Clube Pacos de Ferreira has been completed following the agreement of terms.

The 19-year old attacker, who signed with the Mariners in 2019, will join the Primeira Liga club for an undisclosed fee and complete a medical upon arrival.

Silvera arrived at the Mariners in June last year and made his debut against Maitland in the early rounds of the FFA Cup, providing an assist as his new team progressed.

He then came off the bench late against Brisbane Roar in the Round of 16, scoring a vital goal and making a strong impact as the Mariners eventually progressed via a penalty shootout.

Head Coach Alen Stajcic praised Silvera for his growth and performances while at the Mariners.

“It has been a pleasure to work with Sammy during his time at the Mariners, and seeing his growth as a player and a person this move does not come as a surprise,” Stajcic said.

“He has worked very hard and we’ve given him every opportunity to flourish as a footballer, and I look forward to seeing him do well overseas.”

“This Club was built on giving young Australian players an opportunity to grow and develop, and this move is a clear example of us returning to those roots and it shows the positive direction we are heading in.”

Silvera thanked the club upon confirmation of the deal and said he was looking forward to getting started with his new club.

“It feels amazing to be moving to Europe. I feel like the football in Portugal will suit my style and I will be working hard to succeed over there,” he said.

“Over this past year I feel as though I’ve grown and developed so much as a footballer and I can’t wait to take this next step forward in my career.”

“I have to thank all the coaching staff for having faith in me and giving me a chance from day one in the FFA Cup and then throughout the season.”

“And I want to thank everyone at the club, all the staff, and the players for being a great playing group to be a part of this season.”

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Central Coast
Monday, 31st August 2020


The Central Coast Mariners can today confirm the departure of a number of players on completion of their Hyundai A-League playing contracts with the club.

Following the conclusion of the 2019/20 Hyundai A-League campaign, players have now departed for the off-season as the club awaits further details of the 2020/21 A-League season.

The following players will now finish with the Mariners upon expiration of their contracts, and the Club would like to thank them for their contributions throughout their time with the Central Coast Mariners.

Michael McGlinchey, Milan Djuric. Tommy Oar, Jacob Melling, Jair Eduardo, Britto da Silva

Negotiations continue with a number of players and the Club will provide further information regarding them when appropriate.


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