CC Mariners 2018/19 Draw Released: All home games at Gosford

CC Mariners FC

The Hyundai A-League 2018/19 draw is locked in, and we’re excited to announce that all of the club’s 13 home games will be played at the iconic Central Coast Stadium.

Our new Hyundai A-League journey under Mike Mulvey begins on Sunday 21 October away to Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium and our first home match will take place at Central Coast Stadium where we host Melbourne City on Saturday 27 October at 5:35pm.

One of the most popular fixtures on the Central Coast Mariners’ calendar is our New Year’s Eve blockbuster. We are excited to host Perth Glory as we see out 2018, and aim to bring in the New Year with a win in front of a packed Central Coast Stadium.

When it comes to derby days, we’re set for visits from our closest rivals on Saturday 1 December (5:35pm vs. Sydney FC), Sunday 23 December (5:00pm vs. Newcastle Jets) and Saturday 20 April (7:50pm vs. Western Sydney Wanderers).

We’re on the road to Newcastle twice this season for the #F3Derby and with entry to McDonald Jones Stadium included in your full season membership it’s time to book your seat on the bus for Wednesday 23 January (7:50pm) and Saturday 16 March (5:35pm).

Our away fixtures against Sydney FC will be played at Jubilee Stadium (Friday 4 January) and Leichhardt Oval (Sunday 17 February).

Key Draw Details

13 Home Games at Central Coast Stadium
Season kicks off on Sunday 21 October away to Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium
Our first game is on Saturday 27 October (5:35pm) and we host Melbourne City
New Year’s Eve fixture is BACK and we host Perth Glory
Your entry to two fixtures away to Newcastle Jets at McDonald Jones Stadium are included in your membership (full season only – MyClub excluded)
Have you renewed your Membership yet? Central Coast Mariners Memberships are ON SALE NOW to the general public with the exclusive renewal period for existing Members drawing to an end.

Mariners_Fixtures_2017-18

Mariners sign Kalifa Cissé

Mariners sign Kalifa Cissé

The Central Coast Mariners can today confirm the signing of former English Premier League defensive rock, Kalifa Cissé who joins Mike Mulvey’s squad for the upcoming season after putting pen-to-paper on a one year contract.

Cissé, who can be deployed as a defensive midfielder or centre back, adds a wealth of experience to Mulvey’s defensive stocks having played for the likes of: Boavista F.C. (Portugal), Reading (UK), Bristol City (UK), New England Revolution (USA), Derby County (UK) and most recently BEC Tero Sasana (Thailand).

The Frenchman’s career started as a junior within the academy ranks of Tolouse before a move to Portugal saw him ultimately join Boavista. Two impressive seasons in the top tier of Portuguese football resulted in a lucrative move to the English Premier League where he made a name for himself with Reading.

Not a known goal scorer, Cissé found the back of the net for Reading in a memorable 6-4 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League. Although, he became a fan favourite after a crucial goal he scored in the Championship against Wolves as well as firing home the club’s goal of the season in 2008 against Bristol City, the club he would eventually transfer to.

The 34-year-old who has five caps with the Mali national team worked with Mariners Head Coach Mike Mulvey at his most recent club, BEC Tero Sasana in the Thai League 1.

Cissé is excited to join the Mariners and is hoping to play a mentor role within the club.

“For me this is a really exciting challenge,” Cissé said. “I have spoken with some players who have played in the A-League and said really positive things and I have also worked with Andrew Young [Mariners Elite Performance Coach], Mike Mulvey as well as playing against Nick Montgomery in England.

“When the opportunity came up for me to join the Central Coast Mariners it was an easy decision – the club is very ambitious and I can’t wait to get started.

“We have a really young team here at the moment, so I bring experience into the team. I really want to help the young players to grow – that’s one of my highest priorities.

“We want to be disciplined, we want to be well organised in defence and we want to show a strong fighting spirit and I want to play a big part in that,” Cissé said.

Head Coach Mike Mulvey praised the ‘win at all costs’ mentality and leadership qualities that Cissé brings to the Mariners.

“Kalifa is experienced, he’s not only played in the English Premier League but he also comes with worldly experience having played in France, Thailand and the UK to name a few,” Mulvey said. “One of the big strengths he brings to the team is leadership.

“We know he will be a solid voice at the back, he will nurture the younger players – so he is a very good acquisition for the team and we’re really excited to get him in with the team.

“When I was working in Thailand he came from two very successful clubs in Bangkok United and Bangkok Glass where he won trophies. When he came into BEC Tero Sasana where I was working, the thing about Kalifa was, he’s a gentleman off the pitch, but when he’s on the pitch he knows how to be a real footballer.

“I’ve seen first-hand how competitive Kalifa is – he hates to lose even at training. We want a bit of mongrel in the team, players who need to be winners and hopefully we can all learn from that,” Mulvey said.

Central Coast Mariners Squad
Goalkeepers: Joe GAUCI, Ben KENNEDY, Adam PEARCE
Defenders: Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, Kalifa CISSÉ, Jack CLISBY, Antony GOLEC, Jake McGING, Kye ROWLES
Midfielders: Adam BERRY, Danny De SILVA, Tom HIARIEJ, Michael McGLINCHEY, Jacob MELLING, Mario SHABOW
Attackers: Corey GAMEIRO, Andrew HOOLE, Connor PAIN, Matt SIMON

Michael McGlinchey, a Mariner until 2020

Michael McGlinchey, a Mariner until 2020

Central Coast Mariners FC

The Central Coast Mariners are excited to announce the return of Championship winning midfielder, Michael McGlinchey.

The New Zealand International has put pen-to-paper on a two-year-contract that will see him return to the Central Coast and remain with the Mariners until at least the completion of the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season.

McGlinchey etched his name in the Mariners’ history book when he raised the club’s maiden Hyundai A-League Championship trophy on April 21, 2013. The fast-footed midfielder is one of only two players to score a hat-trick for the Mariners, alongside Daniel McBreen.

After arriving at the Central Coast Mariners in 2009, the Celtic junior quickly earned his place as a regular starter in Yellow & Navy.

Mariners fans will fondly remember the goal McGlinchey scored against Suwon Bluewings in 2013 that secured arguably the most courageous win in our history. Just two days after being crowned Champions in Sydney, McGlinchey fired home in the 80th minute in South Korea to claim three points. The crucial win would ultimately see the Mariners progress through to the AFC Champions League Group Stage round of 16, another proud moment in Mariners’ history.

In five seasons with the Mariners, McGlinchey has made 120 appearances in the Hyundai A-League and now boasts 205 in total after his time across the ditch with Wellington Phoenix.

The 31-year-old is thrilled to return to the Central Coast Mariners.

“I’m really excited to be back,” McGlinchey said. “I’m delighted to get the opportunity to play for this club again.

“When Mike Mulvey and Monty contacted me, it was a no brainer. They didn’t need to sell me the club, I know what the club is all about and I wanted to come back and play for the Mariners.

“When I was here I was so happy on and off the pitch – we went on to be really successful, I’ve got some very fond memories from my time here and I want to create some more.

“I’m in my thirties now and I always said to my wife that if I had the opportunity to come back to this club, I would want to do it. I want to regather that form I had when I was here, I believe I’ve still got that in me,” McGlinchey said

Head Coach Mike Mulvey welcomed McGlinchey back to the Mariners and praised his qualities both on and off the pitch.

“Michael McGlinchey is a really tricky character on the pitch,” Mulvey said. “What I like about Michael more than anything else, is that I see him as somebody who is returning to his adopted home.

“When we signed Matt Simon I said we didn’t want just one returning Mariner – Michael McGlinchey fits that mold. I can tell that he’s a winner, he wants to improve and he’s excited about what we want to achieve. I’ve spoken to many people about the successful days at the Mariners and two names that came up quite regularly were Michael McGlinchey and Matty Simon.

“We’ve struck, we’ve got him home and I’m really happy about that. It’s not just about bringing back former players. It’s about bringing in players who are fit, hungry for success and determined to do their very best for the Central Coast Mariners,” Mulvey said.

Central Coast Mariners Squad
Goalkeepers: Joe GAUCI, Ben KENNEDY, Adam PEARCE
Defenders: Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, Jack CLISBY, Antony GOLEC, Jake McGING, Kye ROWLES
Midfielders: Adam BERRY, Danny De SILVA, Tom HIARIEJ, Michael McGLINCHEY, Jacob MELLING, Mario SHABOW
Attackers: Corey GAMEIRO, Andrew HOOLE, Connor PAIN, Matt SIMON

Keepers Confirmed: Pearce re-signs & Gauci gained

Keepers Confirmed: Pearce re-signs & Gauci gained

The Central Coast Mariners can today confirm that the club’s goalkeeping stocks have been secured for the upcoming season with Adam Pearce signing a contract extension and 17-year-old Joe Gauci arriving from Adelaide.

21-year-old Pearce first joined the Central Coast Mariners set up as a 17-year-old and has earned a contract extension that will see him remain in Yellow & Navy until at least the end of the 2018/19 season. After a successful trial with the Mariners, Joe Gauci has earned a two-year-scholarship with the club.

During the Hyundai A-League off-season Pearce has earned valuable game time with the high-flying Mariners NPL Team, making 15 appearances for the side that currently sit in second place.

Gauci makes a life-changing move to the Central Coast from NPL South Australia club, West Torrens Birkalla SC after signing his first professional contract. The 17-year-old is also completing his South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) in year 12 at the Sacred Heart College.

The young duo join reigning Mariners Medalist, Ben Kennedy as the club’s three Hyundai A-League goalkeepers this season after ‘BK’ activated a one-year-contract-extension, appearing 23 times between the sticks for the Mariners last season.

Central Coast Mariners Goalkeeping Coach, Matt Nash spoke of his excitement to work with the three talented shot-stoppers this season.

“I’m really happy for Pearcey who has worked hard over the past four years at the club and been very patient,” Nash said. “He’s been playing very well in the NPL and is maturing very quickly as a good young goalkeeper. I know him very well as a person and his goal is to one day be the number one keeper at the Mariners – he is very driven and will fight hard for that spot.

“As a 17-year-old, Joe [Gauci] has a great attitude and been playing regular football in the SA NPL with men. He’s a great attacking goalkeeper which is what I like to see and he has maturity beyond his years.

“I’ve been lucky enough to work with the three together when we had Joe up for a week and they all worked really well together. I think it will be a great goalkeeping union here on the Coast with them all pushing each other and all three of them keen to play,” Nash said.

Upon signing his contract extension, Pearce spoke about the mentorship of both Matt Nash and Ben Kennedy.

“It’s been an incredible three years with Nashy, and before that with John Crawley,” Pearce said. “To be granted an opportunity with the first team again this season is something I am really grateful for heading into the season.

“It’s a dream for me to be the number one keeper at the club but as a 21-year-old I am just taking every day as it comes and trying my best to learn every day so when I am granted an opportunity I am ready to take it with both hands. ‘BK’ has been great with me, he’s always there for me as a mentor which I really appreciate,” Pearce said.

After signing his maiden professional contract, Gauci says it’s a dream come true and can’t wait to get started on day one of pre-season with the Mariners.

“I’m really excited – like any young footballer it’s always been a dream of mine to earn a professional contract,” Gauci said. “At such a young age to get this opportunity in the A-League is fantastic for me, my family and everyone else who has supported me along the journey.

“I can’t wait to get in and start working with BK, Nashy, Pearcey and the rest of the squad where I know I can really develop as a player and a person. The week I’ve already spent at the Mariners was fantastic I felt really comfortable with the guys, they welcomed me with open arms.

“For me – I am going to training from 2-3 times a week to now training full time in a professional environment is amazing. I can’t wait to get going,” Gauci said.

The Central Coast Mariners commence their first pre-season training session on Thursday, 21 June at Pluim Park.

Central Coast Mariners Squad
Goalkeepers: Joe GAUCI, Ben KENNEDY, Adam PEARCE
Defenders: Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, Jack CLISBY, Antony GOLEC, Jake McGING, Kye ROWLES
Midfielders: Adam BERRY, Danny De SILVA, Tom HIARIEJ, Jacob MELLING, Mario SHABOW
Attackers: Corey GAMEIRO, Andrew HOOLE, Connor PAIN, Matt SIMON

FFA Formally Respond to Mariners W-League Submission

FFA Formally Respond to Mariners W-League Submission

Central Coast Mariners FC

The Central Coast Mariners can today advise that Football Federation Australia have formally responded to the club’s submission to be re-introduced to the Westfield W-League.

Last month the Hyundai A-League Club ownership group, The Australian Professional Football Clubs Association (APFCA), made a submission to Football Federation Australia (FFA) in support of the Central Coast Mariners re-introduction to the 2018/19 Westfield W-League (WWL) season.

APFCA have since received a formal response from Football Federation Australia which outlines the governing body’s immediate areas for investment regarding the WWL. The letter implies that these priorities do NOT include the expansion of the competition to 10 teams.

In Football Federation Australia’s letter to APFCA the following two initiatives have been identified as their most immediate priorities for to the WWL:

   1. Broadcast and live streaming of all WWL matches and
   2. Delivering a full home and away schedule

Whilst Central Coast Mariners and APFCA support further FFA investment in the WWL and W-League clubs, both organisations believe the Mariners immediate inclusion in the WWL should be considered as a separate topic that will grow the women’s game and talent pool immediately rather than an opportunity that needs to wait in line.

The Central Coast Mariners strongly believe that the addition of a Mariners W-League team would positively contribute to Australian female football development by providing:

  1. Elimination of the competition’s ‘bye round’
  2. Increased professional opportunities for elite female footballers
  3. Increased professional playing opportunities for young Matildas (who currently struggle for game time with the existing nine WWL clubs)
  4. Expansion of WWL without overlapping with overseas female football leagues (such as the NWSL)  5. 
  5. Improve Australia’s chances of hosting and winning the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup by widening the country’s talent pool
  6. Only the second complete professional female football development pathway in the country. The Mariners are one of only two professional football clubs in Australia to offer a women’s          pathway, starting from the U10 SAP to first grade NPL. A Mariners W-League team completes the football landscape for boys and girls on the Central Coast
  7. Ability to increase attendances at Central Coast Stadium through A-League/W-League double headers (significant government investment has gone towards constructing additional change rooms to facilitate this in response to FFA’s feedback last year about this being a necessity for Mariners’ future W-League inclusion)
  8. The Central Coast is the only region with no competing national sports – with no NRL, AFL, Netball or BBL in the area, the Central Coast could be the true “heartland of football”
  9. Increased community engagement by providing more role models for young girls and harness the committed corporate support ready to invest.

Central Coast Mariners Chairman, Mike Charlesworth responded to FFA’s letter with the following comments:

“I’m bewildered by Football Federation Australia’s position,” Charlesworth said. “Their decision is based around a lack of talent in the country – despite the fact that we have arguably the best academy and pathway for girls in Australia with approximately 100 girls on the Central Coast working hard to become a Matilda one day.

“If FFA want to develop women’s football, they should be working with us, not restricting us, all at a time when Australia is bidding to host the Women’s World cup in 2023.

“If FFA are deviating from their own Whole of Football Plan, then what is their plan?” Charlesworth said.

Central Coast Mariners CEO, Shaun Mielekamp also spoke about the Mariners’ passion to help the women’s game in Australia grow.

“The FFA have written to APFCA and confirmed that the priorities for the W-League this season are to increase the broadcast and expand to a full home and away competition before permitting our re-entry and removing the bye round,” Mielekamp said. “We agree that broadcast improvements and a full home and away season [that does not negatively impact players playing overseas] are priorities that should be achieved; however, we simply can’t see why our re-entry must wait until these other priorities are implemented.

“We will take FFA’s feedback on board and we are arranging a visit from key FFA staff to ensure they see with their own eyes just how far we have progressed our Academy and the great job the Central Coast Council has done in improving facilities at the stadium.

“We will continue to push our case for immediate re-entry and if the FFA aren’t going to expand the competition to a full home and away season – then the question we’re asking is what does next season look like and what will be done to grow the women’s game in the immediate future?”

Central Coast Mariners have been left confused by FFA’s response to the Mariners WWL bid which contradicts the governing body’s own 2015 Whole of Football plan.

Page 87 of the document states:

“At a minimum, every top tier club in Australia should have an A-League team and a W-League team. This is important because: Unlike every other Australian sport, football clubs will be able to connect to their communities by providing male and female role models. Above everything else, football fans appreciate good football and the W-League is top quality football that attracts male and female fans. Furthermore, having an A-League and W-League team will allow clubs to host more top quality double headers.”

APFCA and Central Coast Mariners will continue to seek the Mariners inclusion into the WWL 2018/19 Season as a matter of priority and call on FFA to implement a clear strategy for the development of the WWL, including the re-introduction of Central Coast Mariners as a 10th team, that aligns with the Whole of Football plan.

Key Quotes from Mariners W-League Ambassadors, Julie Dolan & Dan Barrett.

Julie Dolan (FFA Hall of Fame inductee and Mariners W-League Ambassador)

“Football Federation Australia’s current position is disappointing for the Central Coast and fans of women’s football,” Dolan said. “Women’s football, and women’s sport in general is experiencing unprecedented success, support, media and corporate backing and it would seem an opportune moment to further build the W-League through the inclusion of a Mariners W-League team.

“I trust the FFA now intends to use its resources to resolve any issues they see as impediments to the launch of a Central Coast Mariners W-League team,” Dolan said.

Dan Barrett (Mariners Women’s NPL Head Coach and W-League Ambassador)

"A club like the Mariners with a purpose built female development program and pathway only adds to this talent pool. I can tell you from being on the ground, we have good young players here that deserve this opportunity. They should have the opportunity to be nurtured in their own backyard with hunger to compete for their home club in front of family and friends,” Barrett said.