“I am ready” – first grade captain is ready to contribute his worth to the A-League Men’s side.
The Academy first grade men’s side continues to lead up top in their Football NSW League One Men’s campaign.
One player in particular leading from the front is midfielder and captain Brad Tapp, who has stepped into the leadership role following seasons of shadowing players and coaches, many who have progressed into professional avenues.
Locally starting out as a junior at Baulkham Hills Kookaburras, Tapp made the move to Blacktown City FC to play in the NSW National Premier League before eventually being scouted and lured to Central Coast Mariners by current A-League Men’s coaches Nick Montgomery and Sergio Raimundo.
Now under first year coach Andrew Christiansen in the midfielder’s first season as captain, Tapp is grateful for his coach giving him the opportunity to lead his side each week.
“It’s a new role for me obviously coming from an older team the last few seasons and now I’m one of the older boys stepping up and lifting the boys,” Tapp said.
“I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of this system and I love working as one of the leaders, making sure I pick the boys up when their heads are down and it’s just something I really enjoy doing.”
The bond among the team has created an unstoppable force that continues to show why Mariners academy is such a highly touted system.
Currently holding the least number of goals conceded in the league at 14, it is just one of many features proving their top dog status.
“We all have respect for each other and are always fighting for one another. We’re always ready to put out bodies on the line and we do what we must to get the win and the results prove that,” said the captain.
“We want the three points more than any other team on the day.”
In 2019/20, Tapp was a part of the NPL 2 Men’s squad where first grade took out both the league premiership and championship.
With the current success of his side this season, Tapp believes first grade can go close, if not recreate the events of that season.
“I feel what I saw a couple seasons ago I see this season. There’s a lot of determination, hunger, and drive, plus the technical side is there as well,” he said.
“We find passages that we can unlock and our defensive record is superb so I definitely see us going close if not winning the double.”
The 20-year-old has made a bench appearance for the A-League Men’s side, though is yet to make it onto the pitch.
Training alongside the A-League Men’s side provides the belief he is very close to making that next step in his footballing career.
With Mariners releasing several players during the offseason, Tapp is certain he will be ready when called upon.
“It’s an honour to train and play with some of them in the academy and being around them has given me a wider knowledge of the game.”
“I’m definitely ready to make my debut. I’ve seen what the team is capable of, and I feel like I can contribute in a positive way and give my best.”