The Central Coast Mariners are extremely excited to confirm the announcement of their inclusion in the Liberty A-League Women’s competition for the 2023/24 season, after being granted a provisional licence by the Australian Professional Leagues. The club is ready to enter the competition, pending Football Australia Board approval, and is honoured to contribute to the continued growth of the women’s game, not only in the Central Coast region but nationally, taking an active role in producing the next crop of Matildas.
The Mariners will bring a vibrant and exciting team that harnesses the core values they have established as a club over the last 17 years. This will allow the club to showcase how their proven model works at the professional level for women. In fact, their journey has already begun, kicking off with the existing National Premier League Women’s Academy which starts from U10’s and now has a completed pathway through to A-League Women’s.
This commitment from the Australian Professional Leagues on the expansion of A-League Women’s also gives the Mariners time to make sure they hit the ground running. The club will use the next 12 months wisely to make sure everything is ready to go when they play their first match. The Mariners’ plan is to announce the Women’s Head Coach before 1 January 2023 and make the first signing on 1 June 2023. Putting these dates in place solidifies the club’s commitment to launching its exciting completion.
Mariners CEO Shaun Mielekamp spoke of the excitement about the expansion of the Liberty A-League Women’s to include the Mariners:
“This step has been many years in the planning for us. What I am most excited about is what this will bring to our community and how the match day experience will be something very special for every football fan to attend. I know that this will excite the existing fanbase of female footballers who I know will turn up to not only see some great talented players, but also to be a part of something very special for the Central Coast” Mielekamp said.
“This has been a long journey for us, but we’ve stuck true to our motto that we ‘won’t back down’. Now that we have been rewarded with a provisional licence, I cannot wait for this to explode in the way that I know it will.”
As the Mariners transition into this new territory, it is with great confidence that the club can work with VenuesLive in the operation of Central Coast Stadium to bring the women’s game to the Central Coast. Central Coast Stadium is ready for the women’s game, being one of a select few stadiums across Australia with female specific changerooms, along with the demonstration of their ability to operate double header matches which occurred last season.
With the club entering this exciting venture, the Mariners have already secured a number of partners who are keen to associate with this historic movement across the Central Coast and the Club thanks those for their support in this initial project.
Chairman Richard Peil also spoke about the delight in this exciting venture for the club:
“The opportunity to bring a Central Coast Mariners team to the Liberty A-League Women’s was an essential component when my wife Jess and I were making the decision to invest in the club. There’s no doubt that women’s sport is on a massive growth trajectory right now in Australia, and it’s finally heading towards getting the recognition that these talented athletes deserve, so I’m thrilled that the Central Coast Mariners have the opportunity to contribute to that. Just like every league the club competes in, we’re not heading into this just to fill the numbers, we’re entering to be competitive from the very first whistle!
“We have just over 12 months to bring this all together, and we have already been working hard in the background to produce a business model that is self-sustaining from day one. This means we have to think outside the box, do things a bit differently, call on the expertise of some of the best football brains in the country, and make sure we have solid 1, 3 and 10 year plans in place to ensure we are competitive and around for the long-term.”
The Central Coast Mariners look forward to welcoming existing and new fans as they join the Liberty A-League Women’s in 2023/24.