The Central Coast Mariners are pleased to announce that Brain Kaltak will be staying with the club until the end of the 2024/2025 season.
The current Vanuatu national team captain has been a standout in the Isuzu UTE A-League Men’s competition this campaign, gaining plaudits throughout the league.
Kaltak has been a rock in the heart of the Mariners defence, playing ten games so far this season for the club, missing his only match due to a controversial sending off against Macarthur.
His athleticism, aerial ability and determination has left many saying that he is one of the greatest signings of this A-League Men’s season, with the defender currently sitting in third place on the Alex Tobin Medal leaderboard.
Before joining the Mariners, Kaltak had spent the past 10 years trying to break into professional football, having a stint with Auckland City while also trialling with Wellington Phoenix.
An injury during his trial with the Mariners at the end of last season meant he was unable to join the squad at that time.
However, after impressing head coach Nick Montgomery during his short period at the club, the defender was asked to come back this pre-season with the hopes of gaining an A-League Men’s contract.
After continuing to excel, Kaltak was awarded an injury replacement contract as a result of Moresche’s ACL injury, with the defender making his debut against Wellington Phoenix in round two.
Since then, his standout performances have helped contribute to the Mariners strong start to this season, with the club currently sitting in second after 11 rounds.
With the departures of Kye Rowles, Lewis Miller and Mark Birighitti, many pundits tipped the Mariners defence to struggle this season. Kaltak has filled the hole that was left perfectly, with the side conceding just three goals in the past five games.
The defenders’ efforts throughout the last three months of A-League football have resulted in Montgomery opting to keep the defender on the Central Coast long term, signing him until 2025.
His signature comes as numerous teams around the league were looking to lure the defender to their clubs, with Kaltak opting to stay loyal to the Mariners and Montgomery for giving him his first chance in professional football.
The defender is extremely excited to be extending his stay on the Central Coast and is grateful for the opportunity given to him by the club.
“It has taken me a while to get my professional contract, now that I am here looking back, what a journey it has been. I am grateful and just happy to be here,” Kaltak said.
“This is one of the things that I have always dreamed of. I am thankful to Monty and Serg. They see something in me that other coaches maybe didn’t and that I can perform at this level. I told them that I could do it and they gave me the chance. I am just enjoying it now and ready to keep going.”
Kaltak has fitted into the Central Coast lifestyle well and is keen to stay in the region for at least another two seasons.
“Aside from football, I love this place. I love the people that I am with here and the boys as well. This place is nice and hot like Vanuatu, it is great,” he said.
“I want to be a part of the project that is happening at the Mariners. Monty gave me the extended contract as promised and believes in me which I am grateful for. It is a family here for me now, and I just want to make everyone proud.”
Mariners head coach Nick Montgomery is delighted to have signed Kaltak long term, seeing him as an integral part of the Central Coast squad for many years to come.
“Brian is an exceptional human being first and foremost. He is one of the most genuine and humble players I have come across. When Sergio and I saw him train with us for the first time he was very raw but we both said we wish we had the chance to coach him ten years earlier as he is a superb athlete, brave and honest with a willingness to learn. It defies belief that no one took a chance on him before,” Montgomery said.
“He is an inspiration not only for everyone in Vanuatu but also an inspiration to his teammates who know his journey and hold him in the highest regard. Brian deserves all the plaudits he has been given so far and has proved so many people wrong. That’s what I love the most about him and that’s why he already has hero status at the club amongst the fans.
“He is a pleasure to work with every day and is only going to continue to improve which is a scary thought, and we are lucky to have him at our club. Brian had offers from a few A-League clubs but he is loyal and knows that the Mariners is his club now and he has a big future ahead of him.”