Mariners laying a platform for future, says Staj

Staj stands in his technical area against Macarthur

Mariners Head Coach Alen Stajcic believes the club is laying a good short-term and long-term platform with the promotion of youth and a focus on reconnecting with the Coast Community.

Staj spoke strongly following the win over Macarthur on Monday night that sent the Mariners clear at the top of the table and saw Matt Hatch make a dream A-League debut.

Hatch scored just 25 seconds after coming on to the pitch to seal the victory, setting an Australian National League record in the process and Staj said afterwards that the sight of a Coast local breaking through was a positive sign for the Club as a whole.

“It’s just a magical moment for him and we’re really proud of him but it’s a great moment for the whole club,” Staj said.

“The platform we have set with our youth team and our A-League team means we’re really heading in the right direction and we want to lay a really good platform for this club not only short term but long term.”

“I said when I arrived a couple of years ago that the club had a template here that worked for a number of years, and I think they went away from that for a period of time”.

“Reconnecting with the community is an important principle for us, reconnecting with our NPL youth teams is an important principle for us, setting up good foundations that are going to keep the club afloat and alive and keep the club prosperous for the next few years regardless of who is here, and that’s important.”

“We can’t have the club flounder like we have for the last few years, so people like Hatchy, people like Nick Montgomery with the youth team, the coaching staff in the A-League team they’ve all done such a good job.”

“From Naz [Nahuel Arrarte] to our Strength and Conditioning Coach Luca [Tonetti], Zoisy [Peter Zois], Christian [Layland], we’re such a great team with great camaraderie between all the levels of the club.”

“And I believe they are ingredients for success and we’re starting to show it now both in the A-League, the youth teams and with the club as a whole connecting to the community.”

Staj was asked about both Matt Simon and Marco Urena post-match, with Simon in the midst of an inspired scoring run, while Urena scored against Perth last week and set up the opener on Monday.

The Costa-Rican has hit the ground running and the boss spoke glowingly of him and his adaption to the league.

“I think he has shown already, [that he is] coming to grips with the tempo and style of the A-league and also aligning himself with the way we want to play,” he said.

“We haven’t seen many foreigners who really hit the ground running but he has, he’s really shown his quality in and around the box, with a little bit of finishing and creativity and his ability to set up goals.”

“So he’s excellent at holding the ball up, he’s a great team person, he wasn’t here when we chose the leadership group at the beginning of the season but he’s just a fantastic person to have around our team.”

“He’s such a helping hand for the young players in the team and I couldn’t be any happier with us acquiring him for this season.”

Make sure you get your tickets NOW for Sunday as we take on Perth at Central Coast Stadium!