Central Coast Mariners

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Season Guide
2020/2021

Central Coast Mariners

In


Stefan Nigro (def) Green Gully; Louis Khoury (mid) Curzon Ashton; Daniel Bouman (mid) free agent; Oliver Bozanic (mid) free agent; Michal Janota (mid) free agent;

Out


Milan Djuric (k) (mid) Rad Belgrade; Tommy Oar (k) (mid) Macarthur; Ziggy Gordon (r) (def) Western Sydney Wanderers; Samuel Silvera (r) (mid) Pacos Ferreira; Jordan Murray (r) (att) Kerala Blasters (IND); Chris Harold (r) (att) released; Dylan Fox (sp) (def) NorthEast United (IND); Eun-seon Kim (sp) (mid) Gimhae FC; Charles M'Bombwa (mid) Macarthur; Michael McGlinchey (mid) released;

Mariners have finished last in 4 of the last 5 seasons, including the last one when they lost 18 and won just 5 of their 26 games. It was yet another campaign filled with many defensive errors and low-quality displays, this despite coach Stajcic being able to develop several youngsters well during the campaign. At the end of the season Mariners were put for sale and, with no buyer found yet, huge uncertainty surrounds the team right now as their A-League license could be revoked at the end of the coming campaign if a new owner is not found. All this uncertainty kept Stajcic in charge. Considering that his previous job was Head Coach of Australia’s U23 and how young the current Mariners’ squad is, this is not surprising. As expected, struggling for cash owner sold everyone he could sell in the off-season while at the same time the bare minimum of investments allowed just to have the required number of players to start the season. Stajcic and his players are already written off and expected to finish last again, but this gives them freedom which they can capitalise on, as nobody expects anything from them. Mariners still have some talent in their ranks, none more than playmaker De Silva and goalkeeper Birighitti. Also the arrival of 3 free-agent inner midfielders is interesting move as they all had been without clubs for 6+ months, but once their fitness improves the trio of Europeans could provide Mariners with some intricate passing game. Main worry will have to be who will be scoring the goals with veterans Simon and Britto the only strikers in the group and they are both not known for being very prolific.

Target


Mariners would consider it a success even if they avoid finishing last, anything more would be just added bonus.

Season Review
2019/2020

№11: Central Coast Mariners

Mariners had yet another dismal campaign and for third time in the last 4 years they finished bottom of the table and well adrift from the top 6. Quickly things got complicated for Mariners with 3 defeats suffered in the first 5 rounds. However, up until Christmas the team at least avoided last place successfully. Then came the nightmare run of 11 defeats in 12 games between January and March. This dismal period doomed Mariners to finish last yet again. Probably the only strength of the squad was coach Stajcic as he developed well several young players and also despite the results and the very limited quality in his ranks he at least tried to search for working tactics, formations and personnel all campaign. In terms of weaknesses one can pick whatever one wants as yet again the team had the weakest attack and the worst defence in the competition so nothing much was really working. Djuric was probably the only influential player that when in form helped to deliver many of the points. Unfortunately his health was not great and he was able to start just 18 of the 26 games. With more than half of the players free agents at the end of this season and with the major uncertainty surrounding the A-League in general due to COVID Mariners can’t really plan much for next season, that if there is next season any time soon.


Player of the Season: Milan Djuric

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