Stajcic: We’re not backing down


Alen Stajcic had words of reassurance for the Mariners faithful ahead of the Central Coast’s Pink Round clash with Wellington on Sunday afternoon, reiterating his team’s commitment to the club and the fan base.

“Everyone needs to know that we’re in there for the fight, we’re in there to be resilient, we’re not going to back down, we’re going to fight for every moment, every game, every minute.” Stajcic said.

“That competitiveness, the heart and spirit, the fans possibly thought that we lacked a little bit of that last week, but I can assure everyone that we’re doing everything that we possibly can every week.”

Whilst the immediate goal of short-term success is important to Staj and his coaching staff, their long-term approach is focused on ensuring the ongoing endurance and resilience of the club.

“We’ve made a deliberate strategy to really turn this club around and future-proof it. I don’t think it’s been done for seven or eight years at this club, where there is a good generation of young kids that come through and get the opportunity to be in the first team, train with the first team, and even get some first team experience.” Stajcic said.

“That was probably the success of this club in the early days. So many young kids had the opportunity to come up here and ended up being great Mariners players, Socceroos and playing overseas.”

“We’re future-proofing the team, to give us a good grounding and a good foundation to build on in the future years, so we don’t always have to rely on the vicious cycle that’s happened here over the past few seasons, where we just regurgitate players, and recycle players,” he said.

“Rather, we’ve got our own to build on, and a foundation that we have as a steady supply into the first team to give us good success and sustainability and consistency moving forward.” He said.

As that strategy for the future takes shape, results in the present remain central to the fanbase, and to the club as a whole. Acknowledging frustrations felt by fans over recent weeks, Staj is dedicated to keeping the loyalty of the Mariners’ fanbase. 

“I’ve been here for one year, Mariners fans have been here for fifteen years, so they don’t want to hear that it’s going to be better in two years or three years-time. They want success, and they want to have a team that they’re proud of and it’s our job to ensure that they can be proud of their team.” He said.

The Yellow and Navy supporters will be more crucial than ever for the Mariners’ annual Pink Round, which this season aims to raise awareness about skin cancer. The cause was chosen in honour and support of Carina Gumprecht, wife of former Mariner Andre Gumprecht, who is currently battling a Stage 4 Melanoma.

“It’s obviously a special round, for all those people who are afflicted with a terrible disease, but to have one of own, and one from the football family affected, it gives it even more special meaning.” Stajcic said.

“I know that the fans will be giving him all the support that they can on the day, and honour him as a great club man and to help his family through this difficult time.”

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