Kuzevski’s scholarship extended, Bayliss and Hong secure new scholarships

The Central Coast Mariners are pleased to announce that Sasha Kuzevski has received a scholarship extension until the end of the 2023/24 season, with Joshua Hong and Lachlan Bayliss also securing scholarship deals. 

The announcement comes during an exciting time for the club, fresh off Brian Kaltak and Storm Roux’s contract extensions last week, as well as Christian Theoharous joining the club yesterday. 

Originally handed a one season scholarship at the beginning of the 2022/23 season, Kuzevski has impressed Mariners head coach Nick Montgomery and the entire coaching staff over the past six months. 

A versatile defender who can also play further up the pitch, he is the definition of a locally grown talent from the Central Coast. 

First joining the club as an under 12 after being scouted at a local football final, Kuzevski has spent eight years at the club. 

After a brief stint away, he returned as an under 16, climbing the ranks of the Mariners academy. He has featured predominately in the Mariners NPL 1st grade side over the past few seasons, including last year as the Mariners gained promotion to the NPL1 competition. 

Since joining the A-League side full time this season, the defender has featured five times, making his debut against Sydney FC in round eight. His efforts have been rewarded by Montgomery, with the defender securing a new scholarship to stay on the Coast until the end of next season. 

Along with Kuzevski’s extension, academy products Lachlan Bayliss and Joshua Hong have received their first scholarship deals, going until the end of the 2022/23 season. 

Since joining the club as an under 16, Bayliss has been a standout academy prospect, with the youngster able to play as either a six or ten. He featured heavily in our NPL first grade side last year, ending the season as the competitions leading goal scorer.

After training part-time with the side throughout the season so far, Bayliss has been upgraded to a scholarship deal, becoming a full-time part of the A-League men’s squad. 

He is joined by Joshua Hong, who since joining the club three seasons ago has gone from strength to strength. The central defender who is also at home in the midfield featured for our NPL2 squad last season, playing 100 minutes in our narrow grand final defeat. 

He played a part in our pre-season this year, featuring in multiple games and securing valuable minutes. The versatile academy player now officially a scholarship recipient until the end of this season, ready to lead the NPL team and push for inclusion in the A-League side.  

Head coach Nick Montgomery is pleased to secure the three players on scholarships, excited to see what their future holds. 

“All 3 players have been through our academy development pathway and deserve the promotion to full time training. This is just the next phase of their development and probably the most testing,” he said. 

“We have belief that all three can push into the first team in the near future but ultimately it’s up to them to grab their opportunity when it comes.”