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A late penalty decided by the Video Assistant Referee brought the Central Coast Mariners undone, as they fell 2-1 to Western Sydney Wanderers at Bankwest Stadium on Saturday night.

Round1_v_Wanderers

It was an even start but there were good signs for the visitors as they repelled a wave of Wanderers attacks before beginning to win much of the ball and just after the half hour mark Milan Djuric put the Mariners ahead in stunning fashion on his Hyundai A-League debut.

Working in from the left Jordan Murray fought through a challenge before the ball fell to the Serbian and he let fly with a stunning effort that took a slight deflection before richoeting off the underside of the crossbar and in.

The lead lasted only five minutes though, when Mitch Duke found space from a corner to sneak a header inside the near post and restore parity.

There was controversy on the stroke of half-time when Daniel Georgievski flew through the feet of Murray in front of the Mariners’ bench, but the Wanderers man was only issued a yellow card and the game remained level in both score and players as the half-time whistle went.

The second half began as a tight affair but there were no clear cut chances at either end in the opening exchanges.

Sam Silvera was introduced by Alen Stajcic to provide a spark and did just that as the Mariners looked to get out on the counter attack, however Daniel Lopar kept out a big chance from Jordan Murray before the striker was denied by a block on another occasion.

With 13 minutes to play the Wanderers appealed for handball off a low cross and after an extended passage of play, a penalty was awarded via the Video Assistant Referee and Duke made no mistake to score his second goal and put the Wanderers ahead inside the final 10.

Despite a good passage of sustained pressure in the dying moments it was not to be for Stajcic’s men and the Wanderers secured the three points.

Attention for the Mariners now turns to Saturday’s monster #F3Derby against the Newcastle Jets at Central Coast Stadium.

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2019/20 fixtures

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Mariners sign South Korean Midfielder, Kim Eun-Sun

The Central Coast Mariners can today confirm the signing of experienced South Korean midfielder, Kim Eun-Sun ahead of the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season.

The 31-year-old boasts a wealth of experience having played the entirety of his career in the Republic of Korea, most notably with K League giants Suwon Samsung Bluewings where he also featured in Asia’s top continental club football competition, the AFC Champions League.

Having trained with the Central Coast Mariners since the start of pre-season, Kim is known for his exploits as a strong box-to-box midfielder.

Upon signing his one-year-contract at the Central Coast Mariners Centre of Excellence, Kim spoke of his passion to earn the fans’ support.

“It has been a real pleasure to meet everyone at the Central Coast Mariners and I feel honoured to have signed,” Kim said. “I am thrilled to be here for such a tough pre-season and I can’t wait to show the fans what I can bring to the team.

“Central Coast Stadium is the most beautiful stadium I have ever seen, and I cannot wait to play there, meet the fans and earn their support,” Kim said.

Head Coach Alen Stajcic spoke highly of Kim’s experience and the work ethic he has brought to the club.

“Kim is a high calibre signing for not just the Mariners but the Hyundai A-League,” Stajcic said. “To attract a player of Kim’s calibre who captained Suwon Bluewings, one of the biggest teams in Korea, is a tremendous boost for the Mariners and the league.

“His technical skills combined with his experience will be of great benefit in the development of our players and particularly our younger players coming through the ranks.

“Since arriving at the start of pre-season, Kim has been a real asset amongst the squad, both on and off the pitch and has set a very high standard,” Stajcic said.

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Mariners sign Goalkeeper, Mark Birighitti

The Central Coast Mariners can today confirm the signing coup of goalkeeper, Mark Birighitti who joins the Club ahead of the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season.

Putting pen-to-paper on a one-year-deal, Birighitti arrives on the Central Coast with a wealth of experience having appeared in the Eredivisie with NAC Breda after his time with Swansea City.

Known to Australian football fans for his acrobatic efforts in the Hyundai A-League, the 28-year-old has 85 appearances in Australia’s top flight with Adelaide United and the Newcastle Jets.

It was that form in the Hyundai A-League that saw Birighitti proudly don the Socceroos’ badge in 2013 against China. The Perth born shot-stopper has also represented Australia at U17, U20 & U23 levels.

Reuniting with Central Coast Mariners Goalkeeping Coach Jess Vanstrattan, Birighitti says that he can’t wait to arrive and get started on the Central Coast.

“This is a fantastic opportunity, I’m buzzing and I can’t wait to join the Mariners,” Birighitti said. “I’ve spoken with the coaching staff and it seems like a perfect fit – their plan enticed me, it’s a historical club an ambitious club and getting the Mariners back to where they should be, is something I want to be a part of.

“I’ve worked with Jess [Vanstrattan] before and he’s one of the best goalkeeping coaches I’ve ever worked with. Knowing that he’s at the club played a big part in my decision.

“The Mariners are a family club, I’ve heard that it’s a great playing group they’ve got there, a really tight group. We want to be successful and that’s why I am here.

“My main objective now is to work hard during the pre-season, have a great season and help the Mariners get back on that pedestal,” Birighitti said.

Head Coach Alen Stajcic welcomed Birighitti and touched on the importance of competition for places.

“We’re really excited to bring Mark to the club,” Stajcic said. “Successful teams have competition for places across the board and that’s no different in the goalkeeping ranks. We want the keepers to be pushing each other day in, day out.

“Mark’s CV speaks for itself. He has national team experience, played overseas in Holland, England and Italy, so we know what he’s capable of.

“We look forward to welcoming Mark on his first day and continuing our pre-season preparations,” Stajcic said.

Birighitti will commence training at the Central Coast Mariners Centre of Excellence next week.

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Central Coast Mariners FC

The Central Coast Mariners are excited to announce the inclusions of Abraham Majok, Jai Ingham, Samuel Silvera and Daniel De Silva to the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 squad.

Majok (20), originally from Kenya and moving to Australia in 2005, began his NPL career in 2014 playing for Spirit FC. In 2016 he moved to the Western Sydney Wanderers youth and then promoted to the Hyundai A-League squad. He has signed on a one year deal.

Fast paced attacker, Jai Ingham (25) makes the move to the Mariners from Melbourne Victory where he spent the last two seasons. Having also represented New Zealand on an international level, the winger is joining the Yellow & Navy on a two year deal.

Young Socceroo Sam Silvera (18) also joins the squad on a one year scholarship deal. The former Western Sydney Wanderers youth star was part of the successful U20s Championship squad in 2017, also taking out the Wanderers Youth Player of the year honours. Silvera is looking forward to beginning his professional career with the Mariners.

Finally, Daniel De Silva will be returning to the Mariners after the conclusion of his one year loan deal with Sydney FC. De Silva was the first player to be part of the Hyundai A-League Intra-league loan system which came into place in 2018.

Head coach Alen Stajcic is pleased with the squad that is forming so far, but knows he still has some key signings to make.

“We’re really excited at the recruitment process that we have undertaken so far” Stajcic said.

“We have a few key positions that we need to fill, including a goalkeeper. It’s been extensive, both domestically and internationally. We’ve nearly completed our domestic signings so far but we’ve still got our visa players to come which we will hopefully be in a position to announce shortly.”

The team will commence their pre-season training on Monday 24 June 2019.

Current Squad:

Jack CLISBY, Daniel DE SILVA, Giancarlo GALLIFUOCO, Jai INGHAM, Abraham MAJOK, Michael MCGLINCHEY, Jacob MELLING, Jordan MURRAY, Joshua NISBET, Tommy OAR, Adam PEARCE (GK), Kye ROWLES, Mario SHABOW, Samuel SILVERA, Matt SIMON, Ruon TONGYIK

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