Mariners pen landmark agreement


Central Coast Mariners together with Central Coast Football (CCF) have today penned an historic agreement that will help bolster the Yellow and Navy’s Hyundai A-League playing stocks for generations to come.

Central Coast Mariners together with Central Coast Football (CCF) have today penned an historic agreement that will help bolster the Yellow and Navy-s Hyundai A-League playing stocks for generations to come.

In an Australian football first, the Heads of Agreement signed this morning ensure that from October 1 this year, CCF-s representative Youth League programs will be integrated into and form a key component of the Mariners ambitious Academy initiatives.

Under the Central Coast Mariners brand the program will be the sole elite football Academy in the region, providing high-level training and playing opportunities to both male and female footballers.

Indeed, in its initial stages the Academy will consist of U-11 to U-18 male teams, and U-12 to senior female sides competing at the highest level permitted by Football New South Wales.

Central Coast Mariners Chairman, Mr Peter Turnbull, today hailed the partnership as yet another significant milestone in the clubs progression.

“I congratulate the CCF Board on their vision and foresight in developing this initiative with us,” Turnbull said.

“This is another commitment by the Mariners in fostering and developing youth talent to provide youngsters with a clear pathway to develop their skills and hopefully achieve a career in the sport.

“With four players in the Qantas Young Socceroos squad for the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup, and the captain of the Qantas U-23s in our Hyundai A-League ranks, we are ideally placed to undertake this next era of youth development.

“In fact, we will be the only Hyundai A-League club that has its own representative Youth League teams for both males and females, and I believe this is further testament to our commitment to community involvement which we have made a conscious effort in further enhancing this year.”

Under the terms of the agreement, CCF will provide the budding Mariners with access to Pluim Park, Lisarow for all representative games. Additionally, access to Jubilee Oval, Long Jetty and Leagues Club Park, Gosford for all of the Academy-s training and playing requirements will be supplied.

In return, the agreement is underpinned by the Mariners guarantee that 80 per cent of all players in the representative programs will be Central Coast residents, ensuring that a transparent development pathway from the junior to the elite level of football in the region is created.

According to CCF Chairman, Mr Darren Sprod, the agreement is a mutually beneficial one.

“This agreement provides a clear pathway for the development of elite youth players on the Coast, which follows the national curriculum sponsored by both Football New South Wales and FFA,” Sprod said.

“Elite players of the region will no longer be confused over which path to take.

“The agreement allows CCF to concentrate its resources on community football and our 23 member clubs, while ensuring we support the Mariners in developing the elite footballers of the future. CCF wants to ensure we give the youth of the Central Coast every opportunity to develop, and this agreement with the Mariners ensures we remain strategically aligned with the development of the regions elite footballers.”

Former Central Coast Mariners Hyundai A-League player and current Youth Development Co-ordinator, Damien Brown, said that as a local, he feels “privileged to be involved” in this agreement.

“I am excited for all the football families across the Central Coast that CCF and the Mariners have created a clear and recognisable pathway to the top,” Brown said.

“With the Central Coast Mariners Sporting Campus underway and now an elite football training and playing Academy in place, the future of Central Coast football is in its brightest state ever.”

Finally, Mariners NYL Head Coach, Tony Walmsley, said he welcomed the opportunity to directly influence the development of local players.

“In the true partnership that now exists, the Mariners and CCF will benefit from the dedicated focus and resources given to elite programs and club football respectively.”

The agreement is subject to relevant approvals from Football Federation Australia and Football New South Wales.