CLUB STATEMENT: Tony Walmsley appointed as Head Coach


The Central Coast Mariners can today confirm that the club’s Technical Director/interim Head Coach, Tony Walmsley has been appointed as permanent Technical Director/Head Coach for the Hyundai A-League 2015/16 Season.

After taking the helm as an interim replacement for Phil Moss in the lead up to the club’s Hyundai A-League Round 20 fixture against Melbourne City, Walmsley will commence the role on a permanent basis, effective May 1.

Over the past six weeks, the Central Coast Mariners Owner Mike Charlesworth, along with Executive Vice Chairman, Peter Storrie & with the assistance of Walmsley have scaled the globe for a suitable candidate to lead the yellow and navy into battle. The club’s senior management wanted a candidate that will guarantee attacking, free flowing and entertaining football.

Entertainment, vision, flair, innovation, training methods and the introduction of young players into the club’s football department along with recruitment of players who can fit into this mantra has led the club to decide that Walmsley is the key to the Mariners’ football moving forward.

The Central Coast Mariners are delighted that the Head Coach position has been locked in for the 11th season of the Hyundai A-League and is confident that Walmsley has what it takes to get the most out of his playing squad and deliver a brand of football that will entertain our fans and members week in, week out.

Central Coast Mariners Owner, Mike Charlesworth said the brief was to source a Head Coach with an excellent track record in youth development who also understands that as a business we need to change our focus towards one of entertainment over and above anything. 

“With such a small population base over a large geographical area we need to do something special next season to attract new fans and bring some of the old ones back.

Without fear of failure we simply have to innovate and entertain and I believe Tony has both the understanding of this task and the experience to see this challenge through successfully,” Charlesworth said.

After assessing a raft of candidates both internationally and domestically, Storrie ensured the members and fans that the Central Coast Mariners will entertain and that the former Head of Recruitment at Sheffield United is the right man to deliver.

“We interviewed a select number of candidates but ultimately, Tony’s international experience in youth development; belief in the new football philosophy and passion to entertain were key factors in appointing him as the club’s permanent Head Coach.

Tony’s understanding of the Mariners’ culture, having been involved with the club for many years also played a part in the decision making process,” Storrie said.

Walmsley is honoured to be named the club’s fourth Head Coach of the Mariners and ensured fans, members and the media that he is ready for Season 11 of the Hyundai A-League.

“Coaching in the Hyundai A League is the aspiration of a many coaches, both here and overseas. It comes with an incredible responsibility and at a time when sustainability is demanded as the league continues to evolve.

When Peter Storrie asked if I would consider taking the Head Coach role at the Mariners I needed to weigh up the opportunity carefully. It is an honour to be invited to take on the role, but I needed to be clear about my commitment to success, identify what success looks like and how I can make a difference.”

The club’s mantra is entertainment, youth and community. As Technical Director I was brought in to deliver a football program aligned to the commercial objectives of the club. This means a recruitment charter that identifies players with embedded talent that can be identified, contribute on the pitch, developed and sold. No hiding behind it. Something to celebrate.”

As Head Coach I’m interested in exposing players to a style that stretches them beyond where they think their capabilities are and to get the staff to buy into the broader vision. Can we be more resilient, yet more expressive? Pretty on the eye? Courageous on the ball, can we be recognised for innovation?”

The Mariners are a fantastic club with a great history. I worked under Lawrie McKinna and Graham Arnold across five seasons before realising a personal goal to work in professional football in the UK with Sheffield United. I’ve remained curious throughout almost thirty coaching years across a broad set of experiences with some great people.”

So my time has arrived to make a commitment to the members and fans to provide an environment where the players love coming to work. Where their spirit, joy and passion for playing football is captured in the essence of how we play. I’m thrilled to be the 4th Head Coach in Mariners history. Bring on season 11,” Walmsley said.

The Central Coast Mariners will round off their Hyundai A-League 2014/15 proceedings with two tough away challenges against Wellington Phoenix & Melbourne Victory respectively. Despite two games remaining, Walmsley has commenced planning for the 2015/16 campaign which will ramp up significantly from May 1.