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Published January 06, 2022 at 13:21:27

December/January update with Ken Schembri – Head of Football

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As the COVID-19 situation has been constantly evolving, we sat down with our Head of Football Ken Schembri to discuss how the club is handling the rise in case numbers as well what the club is looking to do during the January Transfer Window.

Q. It’s been a tough period for the Mariners how is everyone holding up?

It has been a tough period for not just the club but all of the Central Coast I feel and over the Christmas period, the team was significantly impacted by COVID, however, thankfully, the majority are now on the mend.

Q. Are you able to tell us how many players and staff have tested positive?

Throughout the various points of testing that we have done, overall we have tallied 14 players and eight staff that have contracted the virus. 

Q. What about the postponed games, what is the club doing or when are they going to be rescheduled?

 The club is working with the Australian Professional Leagues (APL) to reschedule as soon as possible on a date that works for both clubs.

Q. What protocols are the Mariners upholding to prevent more players or staff contracting the virus and more games being called off?

Following the confirmation of multiple positive cases, we had the Centre of Excellence fully cleaned and disinfected. Along with this, upon the return to training, players who have yet to test positive to COVID-19 complete Rapid Antigen Tests every day on arrival. Outside of training, players are limiting social behaviours and attempting to avoid high risk settings.

Q. The players who were not positive, have they still been training?

With the rate that the infection was spreading through the club, the decision was made to totally shut down for seven days with all players self isolating at home. The club has since returned to normal training today.

Q. Moving away from the COVID situation, are we looking at bringing in any players during the transfer window?

We are constantly reviewing our situation and depending on long term injuries, we may consider looking at various options during this time.

Q. Currently sitting fourth after five matches played, is that where you ideally saw us sitting after this time?

At the time when the season was interupted we were happy with the progress that we had made however it will be difficult to judge with all teams being forced into this time without games. With a return to football against the Jets in a week, we will need to re start our season and continue to build momentum.

Our aim from the start of this season, along with the aim of every team, has been to make the finals.

Q. Are you happy reaching the FFA Cup Semi final? 

The FFA Cup has been a great competition for us in the past and we are happy with our progress so far in this year’s edition. We are looking forward to seeing who we will play between Sydney and Brisbane.

Q. Any update on Matt Simon and when we will be seeing him back?

Matt sustained a neck injury and after being in a lot of pain, is recovering well after his operation. We will allow him all the time he needs to fully recover from such a serious operation and will welcome him back in due course.

Q. Anything else you want to say to the fans?

We are looking forward to our return to football in mid January and we really would like our fans to all come along and support our squad. Please all stay safe in these difficult COVID times and thank you once again for your continued support.