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Central Coast Mariners FC

It was an overcast day in Penrith as Isuzu UTE A-League football returned to BlueBet Stadium, with the Mariners meeting Macarthur Bulls for the first time since the Elimination Final last season.

It was a tight contest in the opening 45 and the deadlock was broken late in the half when Ullises Davilla’s effort off target was unfortunately deflected in off a Mariners body.

Despite a superb second half performance, the Mariners were unable to find the net and the Bulls won the match 1-0.

In the opening moments of Sunday’s afternoon kick-off, the Mariners began on the front foot with Moresche and Marco Ureña paired up front for the first time this season and both were looking to get in behind early on with Josh Nisbet and Cy Goddard playing some lovely balls through, however the final ball just fell short on a few occasions.

There was an early first half change that was forced on Nick Montgomery’s Mariners after A-League debutant goal-keeper Yaren Sözer, who was replacing the suspended Mark Birighitti, limped off with a quad strain and was later seen on crutches much to his own frustration. One person’s loss is another’s gain and up stepped 17-year-old Lawrence Caruso. Caruso was signed from Melbourne City’s Academy and originally joined the Mariners this season in the NPL squad.

Caruso entered the match with confidence despite his young age and began knocking the ball around at the back with ease in his opening minutes.

As the half progressed, the Mariners began to take the upper hand and were unlucky not to be ahead when Ureña had a cut-back deflect wide for a corner and moments later, a beautiful team goal almost materialised as Moresche linked with Ureña, who provided a perfectly weighted pass into Storm Roux’s path and the cut back to Cy Goddard placed the ball on a platter. Goddard’s shot was turned away strongly by Filip Kurto and the score remained even.

Just as it looked like both elevens would head into the sheds level, Macarthur would find the go-ahead goal after Davilla was left unmarked on the edge of the box from a Danny De Silva cut-back and his scuffed strike looked to be heading off target, but unfortunately struck a Mariners body, wrong-footing Caruso and nestling in the corner.

Refreshed, the Mariners came out in the second 45 and were all guns blazing. Marco fired the first shot in anger of the half and Kurto threw up a hand to deny him before starting A-League debutant Harry Steele very nearly curled one into the top corner from the edge of box that lifted the bench onto their feet only to watch it sail inches wide in agony.

Ureña had another chance moments later when he made a great run in behind, only to see his shot narrowly miss the target.

In defence, Kye Rowles had a magnificent performance and prevented any dangerous Macarthur attack from materialising as the Yellow and Navy continued to dominate much of the possession at BlueBet Stadium as the Mariners fans cheered on from the stands.

Nothing appeared to be falling kindly for the Central Coast as a goal line scramble that left bodies strewn all over the box, remarkably didn’t cross the line. Lewis Miller squared a perfectly weighted ball across the face and Moresche appeared to stand on the ball, only for the Bulls to flood bodies back, Filip Kurto to spill the ball, Marco to try and score from scraps and the trainers required on both sides as Kurto clutched onto the ball for dear life and the score remained at one.

Lawrence Caruso was called into action for the first time in the match as he saved low to his right from Tomislav Uskok, demonstrating that he deserves to be on this stage despite his young age.

At the death, yet again, the ball would not ricochet favourably as Farrell’s header looped inside the six yard box, landing on the head of Moresche who found his effort clawed away by Kurto when it looked a certain equaliser. It was a man of the match performance from the Macarthur shot-stopper as he kept a clean sheet once more and the Mariners left wondering how they didn’t come away with at least a point.

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Central Coast Mariners

On Sunday afternoon, Nick Montgomery’s Central Coast Mariners stood toe-to-toe with Arthur Pappas’ Newcastle Jets at a wet and windy McDonald Jones Stadium for the first F3 Derby of the 2021-22 Isuzu UTE A-League Season.

A second half quick-fire double from Josh Nisbet and Jacob Farrell saw the Central Coast Mariners take out the first 3 points on offer of the new season with the Jets finding the net from the head of Valentino Yuel.

The inclement weather set the tone early in what was to be a true derby day. Mariners Head Coach Nick Montgomery named a largely unchanged line-up from their FFA Cup clash in Mudgee, with Cy Goddard coming in to mark his starting debut for the injured Matt Simon and Ruon Tongyik returning to the starting eleven.

Jacob Farrell made his Isuzu UTE A-League debut just days after his 19th birthday and it was he who caught the eye early on, after a frenetic, end-to-end start to the match where Farrell was called upon multiple times and stood strong time and time again.

The early sparring continued with Marco Ureña making his way in behind the Newcastle defence, but the ball just wouldn’t hold up for the Costa Rican in the tough conditions.

Olivier Boumal and Daniel Penha looked the dangerous for the Jets, but the Mariners’ defence was well-organised and repelled each Newcastle attack.

Cy Goddard and Béni Nkololo had their fair share of chances after good link up play down both flanks and they entered the box on several occasions, whilst Josh Nisbet found himself picking up any loose balls and looked to feed the Mariners forwards.

When called upon, Mark Birighitti was up to the task in the unpredictable conditions – denying Savvas Siatravanis from a driven volley, and a Daniel Penha edge-of-box curling effort.

Heading into the half time break, Ureña found himself in behind the Jets defence once again after a defence-splitting ball from Nkololo, but he couldn’t apply the finishing touch as he saw his shot flash inches wide of the upright, which left the sides even after the first 45.

It only took five minutes of the second half for the Mariners to break the deadlock and it was the unlikely scorer of Josh Nisbet who provided it. Max Balard nicked the ball from the Jets in the midfield and fed Marco Ureña who found himself on the edge of the box and deftly slipped in Josh Nisbet to expertly finish from a tight angle for his first in a Mariners Jersey. Cue scenes of delirium from the travelling Mariners fans and players alike as Nisbet finally broke his scoring duct in his 42nd A-League appearance.

Just six minutes later, the roles were reversed as Nisbet set up an onrushing Ureña but his shot was deflected out for another Mariners corner.

From the resulting corner, defender Jacob Farrell would find himself on the end of a brilliant delivery from Cy Goddard with a perfectly timed diving header. An absolute thunderbolt off the head of the Mariners Academy graduate who wheeled away in delight, scoring his first goal, less than a month after signing his first professional contract.

The Mariners began to dominate possession and saw plenty of the ball, playing comfortably from defence to attack, and the likes of Nkololo and Urena were still full of running in the latter stages of match.

With 25 minutes left to play, the Jets substitutes would combine to spark the game back into life when Valentino Yuel’s header would hand Newcastle a lifeline.

However, a well-organised and resolute defensive performance from the Mariners kept the Jets at bay for the remainder of the contest and the introduction of Harry Steele added to the defensive solidarity.

Late in the match, the Mariners were still looking dangerous and almost put the sealer on the contest when substitute Moresche struck the crossbar in the dying embers. The scoreboard would not change however and the brilliant, well-rounded derby performance ensured that Nick Montgomery and his men would leave McDonald Jones Stadium with all three points, with attention now turning to the match against the Wellington Phoenix next Saturday.

To book your place on the bus to Wollongong, please click here.

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Central Coast, NSW
Saturday 20th November 2021

The Central Coast Mariners will be heading up the M1 to face Newcastle Jets in Round One of the Isuzu UTE A-League Men’s season.

Match Details:

Newcastle Jets v Central Coast Mariners
McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle, NSW
4:05pm KO
Broadcast live on Paramount+ from 3:45pm

Ahead of the match, Mariners Head Coach Nick Montgomery spoke to the media.
Nick Montgomery Interview (Video):">Click Here

Nick Montgomery Interview (Audio):">Click Here

Mariners goalkeeper Mark Birighitti also spoke to the media prior to the contest.

Mark Birighitti Interview (Video):">Click Here

Mark Birighitti Interview (Audio):">Click Here

For training overlay vision">Click Here

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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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