Graham Arnold outlines ‘fantastic’ Josh Nisbet debut chances and former Mariner nets first Socceroos goal

There are certainly plenty of Central Coast Mariners connections in the Socceroos squad at the moment, and former Mariners boss Graham Arnold provided an update on our latest Socceroo Josh Nisbet on Friday morning.

Nisbet was a late inclusion in Arnie’s squad last week, replacing former Mariners Academy graduate Lewis Miller who withdrew due to injury, ahead of two World Cup Qualifiers against Lebanon.

The Socceroos won 2-0 in Parramatta on Thursday evening, but there was no place in the matchday squad for Nisbet, to the surprise of some supporters – but Arnold addressed the matter post-match, stating:

“The only reason I didn’t put him in tonight is because he’s had only three days and one session.”

Arnold has been full of praise for Nizzy of late, and backed that up once again, hinting at the possibility of a debut when the Socceroos meet Lebanon again next week.

He’s fantastic, I’d love nothing more than to debut him on Tuesady in Canberra.

Socceroos boss Graham Arnold on Josh Nisbet.

“The priority is to win the game and make sure we get everything right.” Arnold added.

There were more encouraging words for Nisbet from another former Mariner in the Socceroos squad this week, AZ Alkmaar goalkeeper Maty Ryan.

Ryan made his professional debut on the Coast in 2010 and spent three years with the Mariners before moving to Club Brugge, the start of an impressive career across five European top-flight divisions, the highlight being 124 Premier League appearances for Brighton and Arsenal.

“He is obviously someone who has earned his call-up through his form with the Central Coast Mariners this season.” Ryan said.

“Having met him and chatted a couple of times, you can tell he is a real down to earth genuine kid. He is here to make us stronger and better.

Maty Ryan on Josh Nisbet, via A-Leagues.

“My advice to him is to come in here and make the most of himself, and believe that he belongs here.” Ryan added.

Whilst there will be a few new faces for Nisbet to acquaint himself with, there are also plenty of ex-Mariners in the squad.

One of Nisbet’s 22/23 Grand Final-winning teammates Sammy Silvera is an Australia regular, one of six former Mariners in the current squad.

There was a special moment for one of those on Thursday evening, as Kye Rowles scored his first international goal.

After racking up over a century of appearances for the Mariners, Rowles has now amassed over 50 games for Scottish Premier League high-fliers Hearts and celebrated another milestone in his career on Thursday evening with his second-half strike against Lebanon.