Members of Football Far North Coast’s under 10s, 11s, and 12s development squads received a visit from Central Coast Mariners players Glen Trifiro, Mitchell Duke, Nick Fitzgerald, and Richárd Vernes, as well as Phil Moss and his Assistant Wayne O’Sullivan at Oakes Oval in Lismore on Tuesday.
The Mariners – who are in Lismore for a week long Hyundai A-League pre-season camp culminating in a friendly clash with Melbourne City at Oakes Oval on Sunday – took time on their first full day in Lismore to help encourage the ambitious young footballers who came from all across the Far North Coast to take part in the session.
Versatile midfielder Trifiro – who himself possesses an intense passion for youth development – said that it’s critical that professional clubs and players make time for kids in regional areas as often as they can.
“I think it’s always important for kids to have a bit of professional presence around,” Trifiro said. “I think it’s good for them to see professional footballers at their sessions, because it gives them an indication that with hard work there is an opportunity to be a professional and to make a good career out of football.”
“As a kid I always used to love it myself, so it’s been good for every kid involved – the teams have been buzzing.”
“It’s interesting to see the level of these boys and it’s great to see their love of football – there is some great talent here in Lismore,” he said.
Indeed, Tuesday’s session with Football Far North Coast’s under 10s to 12s marked the first of a number of community activities that Phil Moss’s Mariners will undertake in Lismore ahead of Sunday’s friendly with John van’t Schip’s City.
On Wednesday, Mariners skipper John Hutchinson, as well as fellow senior players Nick Montgomery, Liam Reddy and Eddy Bosnar will return to Oakes Oval between 5:00pm and 6:00pm to help train members of Football Far North Coast’s under 13s, 14s, and 15s development squads.
Then on Thursday, eight Central Coast players will be at the venue again to be part of Football Far North Coast’s Community Football Day – the day will provide all registered players in the region the chance to mingle with the Mariners.
Friday will be especially busy for the team, with the Mariners venturing to Lismore Turf Club following training for the first ever Central Coast Mariners Race Day at the venue.
In addition to the Race Day, three Mariners players will make an in store appearance between 3:00pm and 4:00pm at Newcastle Permanent Building Society’s Lismore Branch, while Mariners Youth Development Coordinator and former player Adam Kwasnik will be in town to run two Newcastle Permanent MarinersACTIVE sessions – one at Lismore Public School, the other at Goonellabah Public School.
Trifiro said he and his teammates had taken quickly to Lismore thanks to the kind hospitality the team has received since their arrival on Monday.
“I have to be honest and say that the people here in hospitality that are working at the hotel and that are working at the ground have been first class. They’ve given us a real good base for the week, so we’re looking forward to a few more food session and then a good match on Sunday,” he concluded.
Kick-off between Central Coast Mariners and Melbourne City at Oakes Oval, Lismore is at 2:30pm on Sunday. Tickets are available from www.visitlismore.com.au.
Central Coast Mariners vs. Melbourne City
Sunday 7 September 2014
Oakes Oval, Lismore
Tickets: Visit www.visitlismore.com.au to purchase match tickets