Central Coast Mariners is a club built around fostering community values, a club insistent on nurturing young and local talent. Academy first grade right back Sasha Kuzevski is one local talent whose abilities have been fostered throughout his academy journey, putting his footballing career in a great position moving forward.
A coast local, Kuzevski was approached by a Mariners academy director during a club semi-final at Pluim Park for a few training sessions with the academy, before eventually signing with Mariners for the under 12’s.
Sasha journeyed to APIA Leichhardt and Marconi Stallions for the next few seasons after, before returning home at 16, and is proud to have the chance to continue representing his local club he’s supported since a kid.
“It is so special to play for the Mariners. It’s the club I grew up supporting as a kid and I just love it honestly,” said Kuzevski.
“I love the club, and this is where I want to be. Everyone knows the opportunities at this club.”
You don’t earn it unless you deserve it.
Kuzevski’s hard work and dedication to his football and to the club paid off remarkably with achievements many aspiring footballers dream of a few years back.
2020 to many was a devastating year, though the year was a real high of the 21-year-old’s, beginning with his selection for the Australian u18 schoolboy’s side to play in Europe.
“From playing for my high school team St Edwards College East Gosford it was step after step in going through the rep system. Once I was playing for New South Wales, I was lucky enough to get picked for the Australian side,” he said.
“It was a trip of a lifetime. We played in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. We versed those under 18’s national teams and also some academy sides too.”
“Making the Australian schoolboy’s squad was an absolute honour and I loved every minute of it.”
Finishing 2020 with the U20’s and First Grade double seasons crown, was a truly special one for the defender.
“Winning the double was amazing and we had such a great bunch of boys as we always do at the academy,” Kuzevski said.
“That year was special to win both the 20’s and First Grade doubles and to come first in both age groups and to go all the way in the Grand Final on the day for both ages was a very unforgettable day.”
“For me personally it was an unforgettable year.”
Now one of the more experienced lads in the team, Sasha is loving the opportunity to be a leader of the team and has certainly made an impact.
First Grade returned to the top of the League One Men’s ladder following a crucial 2-0 victory against Western Sydney Wanderers over the weekend – the first team to hold Wanderers scoreless all season.
“I’ve got to lead by example and it’s a new challenge for me but I’m loving it.”
“Christo has spoken to me and something he’s wanted me to do is step up in that leadership role and pick the boys up when they’re down.”
Heading into the back end of the regular season and holding onto their first place, winning another title, and gaining promotion is right at the helm of coach Andrew Christiansen’s message to his team.
Sasha believes he and the team are ready to tackle their upcoming opponents and determine their fate for the season.
“We’re going for that first place position and we know we can do that.”
“We feel we are the best team in the competition and it’s showing at the moment, so we just need to keep working hard and put in the effort like we’ve done all season.”
“It’s a Grand Final every single game for the rest of the season.”