Andrew Christiansen is our current NPL Head Coach and one of Nick Montgomery’s assistants for the A-League Men’s squad. Christiansen enjoyed eight years working for National Premier League outfit Manly United as a coach, and also balanced technical director for his last three years at the club.
Now, with the NPL season just around the corner, Christiansen is turning his focus on our Academy, and promotion is the aim.
“Our number one goal is promotion into NPL1,” said Christiansen.
“We’re currently in the second division (FNSW League One, formerly NPL2), and for our U23’s and U20’s we want the best possible environment for them. They need to be playing against the strongest opposition, and if we can get up to the top level that’s only going to benefit our current crop of players, as well as attracting more young talent to the club.”
Attracting players to an A-League academy like ours is no issue, particularly when you look at the names of the players who have come through the academy, represented the first team, and secured bigger and better moves overseas.
“The people involved in the club have created a standard and environment around the club that is conducive to development”, Christiansen said.
“Monty and Sergio [Raimundo] are large parts of creating that in my opinion. If you don’t reach the levels that’s expected, the players don’t stay. Those that do reach the levels reap the rewards, and Alou Kuol and Jacob Farrell are perfect examples of that.
“Most people hadn’t heard of them before but Monty and Serg worked closely with them, and they’ve given them opportunities that other clubs wouldn’t.”
Christiansen’s move to the Mariners from Manly United continues a healthy link between the clubs, with former coach Phil Moss and former captain Alex Wilkinson both coming from the NPL side.
Andrew’s dreams of playing football professionally were squashed at the age of 19 due to injury, but a couple of years later he began coaching with a local team, before earning his way up the ladder at Manly United.
For our academy, there is plenty of promising talent being developed by Andrew, Monty and the coaching staff, but Christiansen says there are a few to keep an eye on this season.
“We have a group of players who are training with the A-League squad and they’re knocking on the door.
“Cameron Windust, Michael Katsoulis and Harry McCarthy are so close to being in the A-League squad. They’re amongst a group that have been training with the A-League squad for a while and they’ll feature heavily for us.”
The Mariners begin their FNSW League One season on Sunday the 13th of March taking on St George City at Pluim Park. U20’s kick off at 2pm, with first grade kicking off at 4pm.