The Central Coast Mariners men’s academy first grade and under 20’s sides are back in action on Sunday, ready for a massive year of NPL NSW men’s competition.
After both teams had successful 2022 seasons, making their respective grand final’s, Luke Wilkshire’s men are ready to take on the challenge of NPL NSW.
Set to face off against some of the very best NPL sides alongside fellow A-League academies, the league provides the Mariners up and comers with a great chance to face numerous ex-professional players as they pave their own way towards A-League football.
With the competition extended to 30 rounds our sides will be facing off against 15 other teams for championship glory, with this Sunday’s matches against Western Sydney Wanderers academy the first on our quest for the titles.
Players and Staff Members
Luke Wilkshire takes the helm of the Mariners academy side for 2023, having led the team through his first pre-season with the club. The ex-Socceroo has assembled an exciting squad filled with talent of all ages, as he looks to take the competition by storm. He will be joined by assistant coach Matheus Scapin.
Marco Arambasic, James Bayliss, Lachlan Bayliss, Patrick Beach, George Daniel, Gianni Di Pizio, Miguel Di Pizio, Nicholas Duarte, Aydan Hammond, Joshua Hong, Maksim Kasalovic, Sasha Kuzevski, Dean Larson, Jakov Malbasa, Andre Parkes, Anthony Pavlesic, Jordan Segreto, Olayinka Sunmola, Cameron Windust, Zac Zoricich
Former Socceroo and A-League legend Tarek Elrich takes the reigns of our Under 20’s side, as they look to hit the ground running this season.
Amponsah Antwi, William Arnold, Bailey Brandtman, Matej Buesek, Campbell Dovison, Ben Dunbar, Jackson Fowler, Taye Hedley, Orlando Heigl, Max Middleby, Aidan Milicevic, Alex Parkes, Tobias Peil, Dylan Susovic, Jonah Townsend, Jacob Tresoglavic, Zac Waddell
The Mariners men’s academy sides had a stellar 2022 season in the FNSW League One competition, finishing the season in first across both first grade and under 20’s.
The Under 20’s side finished with only two losses from 22 regular season matches, scoring 83 goals while only conceding 18.
Zac Waddell finished as the sides highest goal scorer with 16, with Aidan Milicevic and Bailey Brandtam finishing second and third with 12 and 10 goals respectively.
A 3-0 win over Northern Tigers FC in the major semi-final put the Mariners directly into the grand final, with Western Sydney Wanderers our opponent.
An unfortunate grand final defeat denied the side the double, however there was much to be proud of after a sensational campaign.
After a hotly contested FNSW League One first grade competition the Mariners also finished on top, ahead on goal difference over St George City. The side lost just three times all season, collecting the premiership.
Lachlan Bayliss ended the campaign as both the Mariners and the competitions leading goal scorer with 13.
Extra time defeats in both the major semi-final and grand final to St George City resulted in the side being unable to do the double, however in similar fashion to the under 20’s it was a brilliant season none the less.
Their efforts over the regular season saw us promoted into NPL NSW this year, as we prepare to face off against some of the states very best footballers.
What to expect from this season, home games and how to watch
A young and exciting side who have had a pleasing pre-season under Luke Wilkshire, our men’s academy teams are ready for a big season.
The ex-Socceroo is eager to see large crowds at Pluim Park in 2023, with some quality football expected. Current and future scholarship players will be honing their skills as they look to progress into our A-League men’s side, with Wilkshire determined to help them develop.
13 of our 15 home matches this season are set to take place at Pluim Park, with two games scheduled for Industree Group Stadium. The first-grade side will be playing after our A-League Men’s team at Our Paradise on both April 1st and April 15th, coming up against APIA Leichhardt and Sydney Olympic.
Current Mariners members will get free access to our home academy matches until the 15th of April, with a $30 add on membership to be available after that. Under 16’s get free access to the games, while non-member adults will be charged $10 admission.
If you are unable to make a match or the side play away from home be sure to tune in to NPL.TV to catch every minute of the action, completely free of charge.
The Mariners kick off our season this Sunday against Western Sydney Wanderers, with both sides looking to start their campaigns off on a positive note.
The two teams faced off twice last season in first grade, with the Mariners collecting the full six points. 2-0 and 4-3 wins secured the season sweep.
In the under 20’s competition the side also completed the regular season sweep, defeating the Wanderers 2-1 and 4-2. Unfortunately, Western Sydney did get their revenge in the finals, winning the grand final 5-1
With both sides entering the 2023 NPL competition after gaining promotion last season, it will be all to play for at Pluim Park on Sunday.