Matt Simon re-signs with the Mariners in dual role
Matt Simon re-signs for the Mariners in dual role
Mariners club legend and all-time leading scorer Matt Simon will remain with the Club for the A-League 2020/21 season as Alen Stajcic bolsters the senior ranks of his squad.
The 34-year old striker hinted at another season after the Mariners draw with the Wanderers in the post-COVID restart and has now confirmed he will return in a playing capacity and also as a mentor for younger players as part of a ‘dual role’.
Simon, a Coastie at heart who played his junior football at East Gosford, has scored 51 goals across 194 appearances for the Mariners since making his debut in the 2006/07 season and has been captain since returning to the Club at the beginning of 2018/19.
Simon’s seniority and knowledge of the A-League landscape makes him an ideal mentor for the current crop of youth coming through the Club and Head Coach Alen Stajcic said it was great to have Simon back for another season in this role.
“All the staff and players here are looking forward to working with Matty across this role, and from what we have already seen during pre-season it is clear it will be beneficial for all,” Stajcic said.
“We all know the stature of Matty at this club and what he has achieved, so for him to be able to continue as a player here but also offer something to the young guys is great for both him and the whole group.”
Simon scored three times in 21 appearances last season, four of which were starts, and famously scored two injury time penalties in round 14 to seal a drought-breaking win against Melbourne Victory.
Speaking about his re-signing, the 34-year old said he is enjoying his pre-season and surroundings and that with a season start date now locked in preparations are fully underway.
“I’m definitely excited to be going around again and looking forward to contributing on and off the field,” Simon said.
“We have a young core this season and some exciting talent coming through, and it’s great that I am in a position where I can help them adapt to the professional football environment.”
“We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us to get to where we want to be, and I can help drive that both as a player but also by working with the young boys and making sure they are in the best environment to succeed.”
Current Squad (Announced): Mark Birighitti (GK), Jack Clisby, Oliver Bozanic, Daniel DeSilva, Adam Pearce, Kye Rowles, Gianni Stensness, Matt Simon, Ruon Tongyik, Joshua Nisbet, Lewis Miller, Alou Kuol, Daniel Bouman, Matt Hatch, Dan Hall
Mariners sign Academy Captain Dan Hall to senior deal
Mariners sign Academy Captain Dan Hall to senior deal
Mariners Academy defender Dan Hall has signed a senior contract with the Club for the upcoming A-League 2020/21 season.
The 21-year old, originally from Queensland, joined the Mariners Academy in the middle of 2018 and has quickly established himself as one of the National Premier Leagues’ premier young defenders.
Hall first played football in China as a six-year old with other expats as his family moved there for work, before joining Lions FC when they relocated to Brisbane a few years later.
He moved between clubs before settling with Western Pride at 16 years old and played three seasons before a chance opened up to trial with the Mariners and he soon after moved to the Central Coast.
Stints with the NPL squad in 2018 opened up the chance to play Youth League over the Summer, before he was a focal point throughout the 2019 local season and then captained the Mariners’ Youth League team in the 2019/20 season.
This year he captained the NPL 1st Grade team for the Mariners and was a key part of the team as they won the Premiership, Championship and Club Championship and Hall was also named Best on Ground in the Grand Final as the Mariners beat Northern Tigers 6-2.
Now with a senior deal under his belt, Hall said his interstate move feels more than vindicated.
“I wouldn’t say it was a big risk, but it was something I wanted to do, and I did it more for the experience of moving out of home,” he said.
“I didn’t have my eyes set on anything, it was more a day at a time type thing but I’m so stoked about it and so happy for me and my family.”
“You definitely notice the difference moving up to senior level, it’s been a good experience, challenging but the standard of football is so high.”
For Stajcic, Hall has impressed in the Academy and earned his shot in the professional setup.
“Dan has shown great leadership and poise in his time with the youth setup in the last couple of years since arriving,” Stajcic said.
“We’re excited to have him onboard in the senior group now and look forward to seeing him progress as a footballer.”
“He is another great example of this Club’s talent identification, and of the calibre of player that our Mariners Academy is producing.”
Current Squad (Announced): Mark Birighitti (GK), Jack Clisby, Oliver Bozanic, Daniel DeSilva, Adam Pearce (GK), Kye Rowles, Gianni Stensness, Ruon Tongyik, Joshua Nisbet, Lewis Miller, Alou Kuol, Daniel Bouman, Matt Hatch, Dan Hall
Coast local Matt Hatch signs scholarship with the Mariners
Coast local Matt Hatch signs scholarship with the Mariners
Emerging youth fullback Matt Hatch has signed a scholarship deal with the Mariners, with the born and bred Coast product set to get his A-League shot at 20 years old.
Blessed with electric pace and with great passing, Hatch has spent the past two A-League pre-seasons working with the senior side but after a brilliant NPL2 campaign this season has been rewarded.
Hatch came off the bench in the NPL2 final early in October, playing a key role in a more advanced position than normal as he struck twice in extra-time to help Nick Montgomery’s side to the Championship.
The opportunity is a dream come true for Hatch, who began his football journey with the Woy Woy Roosters, before joining Kincumber and eventually the Central Coast FC representative program which would feed into the Mariners Academy.
Now the former Asian Champions League ball boy will have his chance as part of Alen Stajcic’s squad for the A-League 2020/21 season.
“It really is a dream come true for me, I used to go to all the games, I was a ball boy,” Hatch said.
“I’ve always wanted to play for the Mariners, because they are my hometown team and it’s just an unreal feeling to be here now.”
“I had a few cracks in pre-seasons, and last years was a real eye opener for me to think that I could actually have a chance at a contract.”
“It showed me where I could be if I put my head down and worked hard so I used this past NYL and NPL season to really give it a crack and I’m pleased that I’m getting rewarded for all the hard work I’ve put in.
Mariners A-League Head Coach Alen Stajcic welcomed Hatch aboard and said it was great to see a local talent coming through.
“Hatchy is a local product, born here on the Coast and he’s come through our youth teams in the last few years,” Stajcic said.
“We’re excited to have him onboard, and we know he has talent and some attributes in his arsenal that have been so effective for him at youth level.”
“The task for him now is working hard to transfer those skills and adapt to the professional level to become an effective A-League footballer.”
Current Squad (Announced): Mark Birighitti (GK), Jack Clisby, Oliver Bozanic, Daniel DeSilva, Adam Pearce (GK), Kye Rowles, Gianni Stensness, Ruon Tongyik, Joshua Nisbet, Lewis Miller, Alou Kuol, Daniel Bouman, Matt Hatch
Olyroo Daniel Bouman joins the Mariners
Olyroo Daniel Bouman signs with the Mariners
22-year old Olyroo Daniel Bouman has joined the Central Coast Mariners for the A-League 2020/21 season.
Bouman was part of the team that helped the Olyroos qualify for the Tokyo Olympics and had been training with Alen Stajcic’s Hyundai A-League squad throughout the season restart. He has now put pen to paper on a contract for the new season which is slated to start in December.
The Dutch-born attacking midfielder, who spent his junior years playing club football in Sydney, moved back to the Netherlands with family in 2014 and joined the Groningen youth setup in that same year.
A strong stint in the youth ranks at Groningen saw Bouman on the fringes of the first team, but a move to SC Cambuur gave him consistent experience around the senior squad and his side were on the verge of promotion before the pandemic struck.
A move back to Australia to further his career culminated in a training stint with the Mariners and then a senior deal for the upcoming season.
“It’s massive for me, to help me move forward in my professional career,” Bouman said after signing his deal.
“It’s what any kid wants when they are younger. I always dreamed of playing football professionally and it’s a bit surreal when you think about it, that it’s become a reality from such a young age.”
“I used to watch football all the time and come to Mariners games every once in a while, so to be able to join this club is huge for me.”
“The training period has been great for me to come in and work with the team, form a relationship with Staj and learn the way they want to play.”
“The last couple of seasons here have been leaner years, but when I was younger the Mariners were always a strong team and one that was near the top, and I know that is where this club deserves to be and I want to help the Mariners to get back up there.”
Stajcic praised the youngster for his willingness to work hard and his hunger to succeed and said Bouman would be a great addition to the squad moving forward.
“Dan has spent the last few years in Holland and has had to work hard and grind himself to get to where he is now,” Stajcic said.
“He has shown a great deal of professionalism as well as a desire and hunger to succeed and that has brought him to this point.”
“Being part of the Olyroos side that secured qualification for Tokyo gives an indication of how highly regarded he is here in Australia and we’re very excited to have secured him for next season.”
Current Squad (Announced): Mark Birighitti (GK), Jack Clisby, Oliver Bozanic, Daniel DeSilva, Adam Pearce (GK), Kye Rowles, Gianni Stensness, Ruon Tongyik, Joshua Nisbet, Lewis Miller, Alou Kuol, Daniel Bouman
Central Coast Mariners complete sweep of NPL2
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.”