Mariners make Martijn’s month

Martijn Boot travelled from the Netherlands all the way to Tuggerah to meet two of his football heroes – Graham Arnold and Patrick Zwaanswijk.

Central Coast Mariners players and staff received a surprise phone call late last week from a Dutch fan eager to come face-to-face with two of his football heroes.

Martijn Boot, 28, is on a working holiday encompassing Australia and New Zealand, and grew up watching Graham Arnold slotting goals for his home town club, NAC Breda.

It just so happens that another of Boot-s favourite players is Mariners Dutch defender Patrick Zwaanswijk, who donned the yellow jersey of the Eredivise side between 2005 and 2010.

Mariners management arranged for Boot to come to their Friday training session, and after the players had completed their hit-out Boot had the opportunity to fulfil “one of his goals” in coming to Australia.

“Everyone 25 and older in Breda remembers and really loves him,” Boot said of Arnold.

“He was one of the few foreigners in the team so I think it-s always interesting when an import joins your side.

“Patrick has a good reputation too, because he-s always happy to take time for the supporters.”

Arnold and Zwaanswijk presented Boot with a signed Mariners jersey and scarf, ensuring the Yellow and Navy of the Central Coast brand will be present at matches in Breda’s Rat Verlegh Stadion in coming seasons.

In his own free time, Zwaanswijk then took Boot on a site seeing tour of the best the Central Coast region has to offer, before chauffeuring him back to his accommodation in Gosford.