The Central Coast Mariners are delighted to announce the signing of both Ash Irwin and Sophie Nenadovic for the upcoming Liberty A-League Women’s season.
The duo bolster our squad a week after we officially began pre-season training, with all eyes firmly on the beginning of our return campaign.
Born in Newcastle, Nenadovic spent seven seasons with the Jets in the A-League before joining the Mariners Academy.
Debuting as a 15-year-old in 2013 for Newcastle, she also featured for the Young Matildas, playing in the AFF Championships in Myanmar. Nenadovic has previously spent time in the NPL with Manly United, winning two premierships.
The 25-year-old has been a member of the Mariners Academy for a few seasons now, helping the side to second place in the NSW League One Women’s competition this year. She scored 13 goals during the 2023 season, including numerous long-range strikes.
Nenadovic is excited to be joining the Mariners A-League Women’s squad, eager to get started ahead of the upcoming season.
“I am super excited to be playing with the Mariners this season. I have had a few years out of the A-League so to be back in the competition with a new team is a super appealing prospect. We have an awesome group of girls here and I believe we will be able to make a statement this season,” Nenadovic said.
“Me signing for the first team proves to younger girls in the Mariners Academy that there is a pathway to the top level at this club. I came to the academy to give myself the best chance of working my way into the A-League space so it is super exciting to be here”
23-year-old Ash Irwin receives her first A-League Women’s contract having been a staple in the NSW NPL Women’s First Grade competition for a number of years.
The defender spent much of her junior football playing in the Football NSW Institute, before linking up with Sydney University SFC. There Irwin developed under the eye of Mariners Head Coach Emily Husband, spending a total of five seasons with the club.
She has since spent the past year with Sydney Olympic, before earning her first shot at the Liberty A-League Women’s competition.
Irwin is thrilled to be joining the Central Coast for the upcoming campaign, keen to help the team leave a lasting legacy as we return to the competition.
“I am thrilled to be joining the Mariners this season and am super eager to get started. Having played under Emily for a number of years it is super exciting to be able to be coached by her again in a professional environment,” Irwin said.
“Knowing many of my new teammates already, I know that this is a great group of players who will all give their very best for the Mariners. We want to leave a legacy on the Coast this season, being our first back in the competition.”
Central Coast Mariners Head Coach Emily Husband is pleased to have both Irwin and Nenadovic joining the team this season.
“To have both Ash and Sophie signing for the upcoming season is really pleasing. Ash is a brilliant competitor who defensively will win a lot of one-on-ones. She is very coachable and to be able to give her the opportunity to play in the A-League is exciting,” she said.
“After watching Sophie with the Mariners Academy this season, how she commands the park and her technical ability, she really stood out. It was a no-brainer to bring her up into the A-League squad. Sophie has been in the A-League before and has worked hard to get back again, and I know she will continue to put in the effort this season.”