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CC Mariners media release

Football Federation Australia (FFA) on Monday confirmed that the remainder of the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 regular season will continue, with all matches to be played behind closed doors.

This will begin on Friday, with the Mariners taking on Melbourne City at Central Coast Stadium as scheduled, with only essential staff in attendance.

The club continues to work with FFA and the Hyundai A-League through what is an unprecedented situation, and all parties are prioritising the health and safety of fans, players and staff moving forward.

For now, the Central Coast Mariners’ office in Tuggerah will be closed to external visitors with staff available for contact via email.

The Central Coast Mariners will endeavour to update all stakeholders continually as the situation evolves and as information becomes available.

Ticketing |
All casual ticket purchasers for our upcoming home games against Melbourne City, Newcastle Jets and Western Sydney Wanderers will be contacted by Ticketek. They will arrange a refund with you in the coming days.

Due to the ongoing changes to the COVID-19 situation, we are currently working on a solution for our members and appreciate your patience at this time.

For membership and ticketing, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Community |
As a result of the developing situation and the implementation of social distancing measures by the NSW Department of Education, Central Coast Mariners have decided to suspend all school and community programs until further notice. The decision has been made to ensure the safety of our participants and staff in an effort to uphold social distancing measures and non-essential gathering advice as required at this point in time.

For further information please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Academy |
In line with the guidance of FFA, grassroots football including Central Coast Mariners Academy matches can continue, however the club fully supports FFA’s suggestion that only people essential to the operation of the match be in attendance. The club will work to continually provide updates to Academy members via Academy channels.

For more Academy information, contact Ken Schembri at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For further information, please see the full release from FFA below.

Football Federation Australia (FFA) today confirmed that the remainder of the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 regular season, and the Westfield W-League 2020 Grand Final scheduled for this weekend will go ahead, but with all matches to be played behind closed doors and with no fans permitted to attend. This policy will apply for the remaining six rounds of the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 regular season and will be reviewed for the Hyundai A-League 2020 Finals Series.

The decision by the Federal Government that all travellers to Australia arriving from today will have to self-isolate for a period of 14 days means that matches involving Melbourne Victory and Wellington Phoenix will not proceed in Rounds 24 and 25 of the Hyundai A-League. These matches will be re-scheduled and Wellington Phoenix will play all their matches in Australia for the remainder of the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season.

FFA also confirmed that grassroots football, including all levels of the National Premier Leagues and FFA Cup Preliminary Rounds, may continue to be played at this time in line with Government advice, but with additional measures implemented to further reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection or transmission through the football community, including recommended hygiene measures and appropriate social distancing at football matches.

FFA Chief Executive Officer James Johnson said that the decisions taken were designed to protect the 1.96 million members of Australia’s football community, as well as ensure that football’s vast community would be a positive force in helping Australians remain healthy and combat the spread of the virus.

“The scale of football means that we have a key role to play in maintaining the health and well-being of Australians, as well as their families and the wider community. We are doing so by allowing people to play, in line with the current Government position but with additional guidance to further improve social distancing at football fields around the country.”

“We have been working closely with our stakeholders, Government health officials and our own chief medical officer to develop our policies for the whole of the game following the COVID-19 outbreak. The situation is subject to constant change, and further measures may be necessary in the future.”

Johnson added: “The decision to play the remainder of the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season, and the Westfield W-League 2020 Grand Final behind closed doors was made in consultation with the clubs and in accordance with the latest Federal Government advice.”

“The health and safety of all members of the football community, including players, coaches, referees, volunteers, administrators and fans continues to be of paramount importance. We will continue to work with the Government and seek advice as the situation changes.”

The National COVID-19 Working Committee will continue to meet and FFA will provide regular updates to the football community as the situation continues to develop.

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Defiant Mariners beaten by Brisbane at Suncorp

The Central Coast Mariners performed strongly at Suncorp on Friday night, but still fell to Brisbane Roar as Scott McDonald’s goal on the stroke of half time proved to be the difference.

The Mariners started strongly, disrupting Brisbane’s play and looking to get out on the break.

Milan Ðurić charged through the midfield and poked a ball through to Chris Harold who had his shot saved by Jamie Young, before the Serbian drove forward once more shortly afterwards and drew a save from Young himself with a stinging drive.

Ruon Tongyik shook up Brad Inman with a strong challenge as the Mariners established themselves in midfield, and shortly after had the best chance of the first half hour as they broke from the back.

Daniel DeSilva charged forward flanked by Jordan Murray and Lewis Miller before shooting with the outside of his boot, and the rebound from Young’s save was scooped over under pressure by Murray.

Mark Birighitti was called into action twice in quick succession to keep out the hosts, and just as it looked as though scores would be level at the break the Roar struck.

Scott McDonald tapped in Inman’s cross and while the linesman raised his flag, VAR intervened and overruled the decision and the goal stood.

Mirza Muratovic fired wide ten minutes in and 20 minutes in Alen Stajcic made his first changes as Jair and Sam Silvera came on for Murray and Harold, but it was Ziggy Gordon who made an impact next up as a great sliding challenge halted a Brisbane counter.

The two substitutes both conspired to cause problems and Jair won a free kick that Ðurić swung in invitingly, but Tom Aldred was able to head clear.

Mikey McGlinchey replaced Ðurić as time wound down, and Silvera was causing problems up front as first Aiden O’Neill and then Aldred both went in the book for increasingly late challenges on the young forward.

Silvera almost created a goal as he rode one tackle before driving into the area and crossing, only for the hosts to block for a corner and clear the set piece as they held out to the end.

Attentions for the Mariners now turn to next round, as they host Melbourne City for Friday Night Football at Central Coast Stadium.

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Hooper goal

Courtesy Wellington Phoenix website

The Wellington Phoenix have racked up three goals against the Mariners at Central Coast Stadium, beating the bottom-of-the-table side 3-1 in a dominating performance.

The match saw spectacular first-half goals – thanks to a pair of classy assists – for Liberato Cacace and Gary Hooper, with Jaushua Sotirio hammering home another on 80 minutes before Jair finally got the Mariners on the board in the final minutes.

The win, Wellington’s third in a row, keeps the Phoenix comfortably in the top four as they continue their fight the Finals. Meanwhile, the Mariners see their losing streak extended to eight games, as they remain at the bottom of the ladder with a league-high 14 losses.

The match kicked off with an early chance for Gary Hooper in the first two minutes, as he received a pass in the box from Liberato Cacace but was unable to get his shot off. Meanwhile the Mariners had their chances at goal; but attempts by Milan Duric and Chris Harold both landed safely in the hands of Wellington goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic.

Wellington’s first goal attempt at goal would be a successful one - a brilliant goal by Cacace on 18 minutes, taking a leading pass from Davila to slot home a goal from inside the box and put the Phoenix up 1-0. It was 19 year-old Cacace’s second straight match with a goal, as well as being his 50th match for the Phoenix – the youngest Wellington player ever reach this milestone.

The Mariners had another pair of opportunities that they couldn’t convert thanks to Marinovic, and then botched a free kick opportunity that went safely over the net.

On 30 minutes, the Phoenix struck again; a terrific pass by Reno Piscopo over the top of the defence to Hooper, who handily chipped it over Mariners goalkeeper Mark Birighitti into the goal. This gave the Phoenix two goals in their first three shots on goal as they went up 2-0, and also gave Hooper his fifth goal of the season.

Hooper Goal
Gary Hooper Scored His Fifth Goal Of The Hyundai A-League Season
A last-minute attempt by the Mariners saw Marinovic leaping into the air over ex-Phoenix midfielder Gianni Stensness, denying an opportunity on goal as they went into half-time safely up 2-0; a clinical Wellington side making their shots count and winning the possession battle.

The second half saw the Phoenix maintaining control and not pushing the ball too much, content to instead wait for good opportunities. A duel between Jair and Steven Taylor saw the latter make a stirling defensive play for the Phoenix, before Stensness had an opportunity to score but couldn’t control his header.

Wellington would get onto the scoreboard for the third time thanks to a pair of Phoenix substitutes; with Alex Rufer setting up Jaushua Sotirio for his third goal of the season and putting Wellington up 3-0.

A goal by Jair in the 89th minute put the Mariners on the scoreboard and denied Wellington an opportunity for a third straight clean sheet. Sotirio almost had a chance at a brace as he hammered home a goal past Birighitti, only to be ruled offside - the match ending 3-1 to the Phoenix.

In addition to the win, the Phoenix will be buoyed by their efficiency on offense – the club being on target with four out of six shots on goal, sinking three; their highest percentage of the season.

The Wellington Phoenix will next return home to Sky Stadium for their match against Melbourne Victory on 15 March; they will also be recognising the one-year anniversary of the Christchurch Mosque tragedy at this match. In addition this match will be the beginning of a gruelling stretch of three matches played in eight days - with subsequent away games against Sydney FC and the Newcastle Jets.

Wellington Phoenix Starting XI

1.Stefan MARINOVIC (gk), 3.Luke DEVERE, 5.Matti STEINMANN, 6.Tim PAYNE, 7.Reno PISCOPO, 8.Cameron DEVLIN, 9.David BALL, 10.Ulises DAVILA, 13.Liberato CACACE, 27.Steven TAYLOR (c), 88. Gary HOOPER

Central Coast Mariners Starting XI

1. Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 2.Ian Zygmunt GORDON, 3.Jack CLISBY, 4. Eunsun KIM, 7. Milan ÐURIĆ, 11.Daniel DESILVA, 15. Kye ROWLES, 18. Gianni STENSNESS, 24. Chris HAROLD, 26. Joshua NISBET, 27. Lewis MILLER

Wellington Phoenix Substitutes
69’ ON 11.Jaushua SOTIRIO OFF 7.Reno PISCOPO
76’ ON 14.Alex RUFER OFF 8.Cameron DEVLIN
79’ ON 21.Callum MCCOWATT OFF 10.Ulises DAVILA

Central Coast Mariners Substitutions
64’ ON 29.Jair BRITTO OFF 7. Milan ÐURIĆ
64’ ON 19.Matt SIMON OFF 24.Chris HAROLD
79’ ON Daniel DE SILVA OFF 17. Samuel SILVERA

Goals
18’ Liberato CACACE (Wellington Phoenix)
30’ Gary HOOPER (Wellington Phoenix)
80’ Jaushua SOTIRIO (Wellington Phoenix)
89’ Jair BRITTO (Central Coast Mariners)

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Josh Nisbet signs two-year senior deal to stay on the Coast

Joshua Nisbet has signed a two-year senior contract with the Central Coast Mariners, keeping him in Yellow & Navy until the end of the 2021/22 Hyundai A-League season.

The 20-year old midfielder has been at the club since January of 2017 and after debuting last season and signing a scholarship contract, has made himself a part of Alen Stajcic’s starting line-up in recent weeks.

Speaking ahead of Sunday’s clash with Wellington in the annual Pink Round, Nisbet said he was excited to lock in his next few years on the Coast.

“I was on a scholarship deal and got the call that they wanted to upgrade me for another two years,” he said.

“I’m so happy to be part of what Staj is doing here at the Mariners and I’m confident we can build this club back up in the next couple of years.”

As the smallest player in the league Nisbet has always battled first impressions and after working his way through the pecking order under Alen Stajcic, says he’s comfortable under the long-term boss.

“Every time a new coach comes in they’ve got their preferences and they know what they want to do, what they want to build, obviously as a player you find a balance between what you think you need to do and what the coach needs to do,” Nisbet said.

“I think I’ve found that balance and I think Staj agrees and that’s why I’ve signed this contract.”

“There can be a perception that being small doesn’t mean you’re athletic or physically good, so a lot of the time it can be used negatively.”

“There is usually a fair bit of doubt initially, and then after a while you slowly build trust and they start believing it’s not the case [that height impacts my game].”

Stajcic brought Nisbet on in the win against Western United back in Round 7 at Central Coast Stadium before some time out of the team, but has had the youngster starting all but one game since round 16.

“We’re all excited here for Josh to sign this deal and commit to what we’re doing here on the Central Coast,” Stajcic said.

“He’s worked hard to establish himself as an important member of our squad, and this is just reward for the effort he’s put in.”

“It’s an exciting time now where we’re locking in young players like him for the future and it’s a credit to the work done in our Academy that we have so many youngsters who are up to the standard of our league, and that youth production line is starting to shine through now.”

Nisbet will be available to speak to media ahead of Mariners training on Wednesday morning.

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Sydney FC Young Guns Deliver The Points In Gosford
(this page courtesy Sydney FC website)

Sydney FC 3 (Ninkovic 8’, Tilio 89’, Van der Saag 90’+1’) def. Central Coast 0

Sydney FC’s young guns Marco Tilio and Harry Van der Saag came off the bench to secure the three points against Central Coast Mariners and send the Sky Blues 13 points clear at the top of the Hyundai A-League.

McGowan Chance – 4’ – Brattan’s free-kick to the far post finds the head of Grant to nod back across and McGowan fires over with his left foot.
Ninkovic Goal – 8’ – Grant crosses to the far post where Miller fails to clear and Ninkovic is on hand to nudge the ball past Birighitti.
Caceres Chance – 18’ – Caceres is allowed to charge forward and strikes powerfully from range which the keeper fumbles but gathers at the second attempt.
Stensness Goal Disallowed - 45’ – A Mariners free kick on the left, won controversially, is headed home by Stensness but is ruled out for offside by the linesman; upheld by VAR.
Debut Tilio Goal – 89’ - Van der Saag breaks clear on the right and cuts the ball back to Tilio who takes a touch before slotting in low on his Hyundai A-League debut.
Van der Saag – 90’ + 1’ - A reversal of fortunes as Tilio feeds Van der Saag, who drives into a gap in the Mariners defence and smashes the ball into the top corner beyond Birighitti.

Sydney FC youngsters Marco Tilio and Harry Van der Saag were the heroes as the Sky Blues marched 13 points clear at the Hyundai A-League summit defeating the Central Coast Mariners 3-0.

Milos Ninkovic opened the scoring in the 8th minute latching onto a mistake by Miller in the Mariners back line to flick the ball past Birighitti.

Having played in Japan midweek the Sky Blues dug deep and defended well against a Mariners side who pressed forward in the second half.

With time running out Head Coach Steve Corica introduced the fresh legs of the young stars and they delivered setting up one another with a goal to help the Sky Blues ease through the final stages of the game.

All eyes now turn to Friday night’s big Sydney Derby against the Western Sydney Wanderers at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.

Steve Corica: “I’m very pleased with the result, it’s been a tough week. I think the boys showed great character today. We defended well and kept another clean sheet.

“We wanted to make sure we came back and won this game. To get the three points is vital for us and we move forward again.

“You’ve got to dig deep in games like these. It just didn’t work out for us in Japan. To come back and get the win showed good character, and I’m very pleased for the young boys who scored too.

“Marco has been waiting a long time, he’s been looking really good in training. He’s got ability to run with the ball and has been banging them in in the Y-League. I’m very pleased for him and Harry.”

Sydney FC: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 4. Alex WILKINSON, 6. Ryan McGOWAN, 8. Paulo RETRE, 9. Adam Le FONDRE, 10. Milos NINKOVIC, 11. Kosta BARBAROUSES (12. Trent BUHAGIAR 58’), 16. Joel KING, 17. Anthony CACERES (21. Harry Van Der SAAG 71’), 23. Rhyan GRANT, 26. Luke BRATTAN.

Subs Not Used: 20. Thomas HEWARD-BELLE, 2. Patrick FLOTTMANN, 3. Ben WARLAND, 24. Marco TILIO, 27. Jordan SWIBEL.

Yellow Cards: Retre 20’, Brattan 65’,

Red Cards: None.

Central Coast Mariners: 1. Mark BIRIGHITTI (GK), 2. Ziggy GORDON, 3. Jack CLISBY, 4. Eun-Seon KIM ©, 8. Michael MCGLINCHEY (17. Samuel SILVERA 58’), 11. Daniel De SILVA, 18. Gianni STENSNESS, 21. Ruon TONGYIK, 24. Chris HAROLD (19. Matt SIMON, 77’), 26. Josh NISBET, 27. Lewis MILLER (10. Tommy OAR 58’).

Subs Not Used: 12. Adam PEARSE (GK), 7. Milan DURIC, 9. Jordan MURRAY, 29. JAIR.

Yellow Cards: Miller 19’, De Silva 78’, Kim 93’.

Red Cards: None.

Ground: Central Coast Stadium

Referee: Chris Beath

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