Central Coast Mariners head to Vanuatu for Friendship Cup

The Central Coast Mariners have become the first A-League club to visit the small island nation of Vanuatu, touching down in the early hours of Thursday morning to compete in the Friendship Cup. 

Home of Mariners defender Brian Kaltak, who is also Vanuatu’s national team captain, a squad of 21 first team and youth players have travelled to take part in the tournament. 

As a part of the event the Mariners will have three matches, with the goal of rotating the side through the fixtures to give as many players as possible valuable minutes.

The Mariners faced Port Vila champions Ifira Black Bird on Thursday evening, before the team come up against the Vanuatu national team on Saturday night in front of what is expected to be a large crowd of local fans. 

Our final game will be held on Monday, with the Central Coast scheduled to take on a Vanuatu development team. 

While overseas, the Mariners will be visiting local areas around Vanuatu, including the local region where Kaltak was raised before chasing his dream of being a professional footballer.

The tour will act as both a good way for Mariners players to remain sharp during the World Cup break, while also enhancing football in the island nation.