We’re giving our fans the opportunity to be featured in the Club’s free matchday handout, The Loose Cannon, letting other fans know about their all time Central Coast Mariners team.
From Ryan to Zwaanswijk, Vukovic to Wilkinson, Sainsbury to Simon, we’re looking for fans to give us their first eleven plus five substitutes (four outfield and one goalkeeper), and their pick as who would mentor the star-studded line-up.
Want to participate? Pick your team, substitutes and coach and send an e-mail to us describing why each man has made your all time Mariners team. Alternatively, you can post your team in this Facebook status to be in with the chance to be featured.
Here’s an example of what we’re looking for – this team selected by Mariners Media Officer Ben O’Neill.
Goalkeeper: Mat Ryan
A gun in goals, Ryan beats some top candidates including Danny Vukovic and Liam Reddy to make my team. With cat-like reflexes, amazing distribution and a presence that belies his size, Ryan wears the number one.
Right back: Trent Sainsbury
Played his best football for the Club in the centre of defence, but is too good a player to leave out of this team. An amazing reader of the game, good on the ball and a calm character, Sainsbury is part of a top-class backline.
Right stopper: Alex Wilkinson (captain)
A legend of the Club and captain for many a year, Alex Wilkinson wears the skippers’ armband in my team. Not the flashiest of players, but a man who gets the job done and gives the team an seven out of 10 performance week in, week out.
Left stopper: Patrick Zwaanswijk
The veteran Dutchman arrived at the Club in his mid-thirties but went on to become one of the Hyundai A-League’s best ever foreigners. Dangerous from set-pieces, capable of putting a pass on a penny from 60 yards, and boasting the experience to help guide this team to victory.
Left back: Josh Rose
Rockhampton-born flyer Josh Rose is one of the few specialist left backs in Hyundai A-League history, and for the last four seasons has made the position his own at the Mariners. With a superb engine, the ability to chip in with a few goals a season, and a top attitude, he’s an obvious pick.
Defensive midfield: John Hutchinson
The last remaining foundation Mariner is a clear selection for this team. With his industry, ability to keep the play flowing and leadership qualities, Hutchinson helps anchor my midfield. While not the prettiest of players in the team, he makes sure the standards are kept high and delivers when the pressure is on.
Defensive midfield: Mile Jedinak
I didn’t work with Jedinak at the Club but like many Hyundai A-League aficionados can recall his long range bombs and steel in midfield. Now Socceroos captain and skipper of Crystal Palace in the Barclays Premier League, Jedinak is a shoo-in for the all-time Mariners starting side.
Right midfield: Bernie Ibini
Anyone who knows me knows how highly I rate Bernie Ibini. Offers pace, swagger, goals, and a consistent attacking threat in this team. Also comes through in the clutch, and even at just 22 has plenty of international experience under his belt. Baller.
Attacking midfield: Daniel McBreen
Daniel McBreen spent a number of seasons at the Club, but one campaign defined him. Few will ever truly know how Graham Arnold managed to turn the honest attacker into an absolute goal-machine throughout the 2012/13 season! McBreen played many games throughout Hyundai A-League season eight at ten – and I like him here with Ibini and McGlinchey running off him.
Left midfield: Michael McGlinchey
A boss. The scorer of just the second competitive hat-trick in Mariners history, McGlinchey’s craft, ability to fashion chances and finish them himself makes earns him a spot in my team. Has the versatility to play in a variety of roles, keeps possession well, and runs all day. What a player.
Striker: Matt Simon
The Club’s all time top scorer leads the line for me. Simon bleeds yellow and would run through brick walls for the Club. Doesn’t hurt that on top form he scores goals for fun. With Ibini, McGlinchey and McBreen opening plenty of opportunities in the front third, I believe the no-nonsense Simon would be a thorn in the side for rivals defenders.
John Crawley (Gk)
What? No Vukovic or Reddy? Both can feel hard done by not to make my bench, but with Ryan in goals I’m keen to keep Crawley as close to him as possible as a mentor. The Club’s inaugural custodian does a power of work behind the scenes, much of which can go unrecognised. We’ve spent many a late night in hotels together around Australia and Asia, John tapping away at his laptop putting together presentations for the players and analysing rival teams. An unsung hero.
At his best Rostyn Griffiths wouldn’t just make my all time Mariners team, but the Socceroos squad. A giant presence in midfield capable of destroying opposition attacks. Fantastic player.
Tom Rogic played his best football at the Mariners and it was his form in the early part of the 2012/13 season that ultimately secured his move to Celtic. If McBreen doesn’t deliver on any given day, we throw Rogic into the fray with the express instruction to express himself.
Only spent two seasons at the Club, but what an impact he made. His double in the AFC Champions League against Sanfrecce Hiroshima was a highlight, but off the field he also provides great leadership for the young boys.
I didn’t work with ‘Viddy’ either but he is a legend of the Socceroos and a key member of the squad that got us to the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. Played at the highest levels in Holland, Scotland and England, so his experience to slot into defence if needed would be a huge bonus.
Coach: Graham Arnold
Took over from Lawrie McKinna in mid-2010 and guided the Club to two Grand Finals, a Premiership, a Championship, and the last 16 of the 2013 AFC Champions League. With plenty of players departing during his tenure, he also managed to replenish the stocks and also eek the very best out his charges.