What a week in Australian football. The incredible result our team managed at the Asian Cup sets the scene to add another massive boost to our code. Not since the 2005 qualification for the World Cup and advent of the A-League has there been a moment and opportunity of this magnitude.
On the home front there is not much to be positive about our last match. Our caning at the hands of Sydney FC ranks as one of the most depressing moments in the history of our great club. Never before have I seen the number of apparently ‘die hard’ fans leaving one of our matches early as I saw that night. It hurt, there’s no getting around that. While we showed one or two moments in the game, whatever positive efforts we made were drowned out by our Sky Blue neighbour exploiting some of the most inept defence we’ve ever delivered. I’m not going to detail the catastrophe any further than to say that each member of our back four were one after the other found out and exploited.
On a positive note the signing season has been fully underway at the Mariners, the National Youth team have been performing quite well and our arch enemies (The Jets) appear to be in worse shape than us, at the moment.
Recent signing announcements have included:-
Everton FC – This could be an extremely exciting development in our clubs history. While I’d rather have read that Everton had decided to invest 15-20 Million in our club, I’m sure the player exchange and development opportunities presented by this partnership will show their value.
Masterfoods – synonymous with the Mariners and their successes, the continuation of this association can only be positive for the Mariners, the company and the Central Coast community.
Josh Bingham – a big and strong forward who recently made first team appearances against Newcastle and Wellington, and captains the NYL team.
Jake McGing – A tall but lightly framed midfield controller who recently scored a hat trick in the NYL side and has looked one of the best in that team since his arrival.
Fabio Ferreira – The most proven signing made by the Mariners in some time. His speed and ability to provide quality wing play, and score goals as well, make him an excellent addition to our squad.
Mick Neill – has looked excellent during his opportunities this year before picking up another injury.
Jacob Poscoliero – has looked like an excellent prospect, particularly when used as a central defender.
In other news, the announcement that John Hutchinson is hanging up the boots can only be met with mixed feelings by our fans. What a wonderful ambassador and advertisement Hutch has been for the club over the past ten years. There have been some wonderful moments – his two goals away in Sydney several years ago and his injury time winner against Melbourne City earlier this season – just to name a couple. Hutch has shown his versatility by playing in almost every position in the team during his time and while his playing style has had detractors at times, it’s fair to say that he is among the very few genuine legends of our club. I cannot say enough about the contribution that Hutch has made to the team, the club and the community. With testimonial events currently being announced or in the planning I hope the people of the Central Coast reflect on his massive contribution by making these events the success Hutch deserves.
What can you say about Adelaide? Perth might lead the competition but for me Adelaide have shown they are the measuring stick for season ten. Coming off a seven nil annihilation of the Jets in Adelaide, The Reds will arrive in Gosford full of confidence. Their decision to release Fabio Ferreira is a reflection of the quality they have in their squad and in addition the style their coach has them playing is second to none.
In the back of our player’s minds will be our not quite good enough comeback when taking them on in the FFA Cup Semi Final recently. While we never really threatened to win the match, we may have convinced ourselves, and also their players, that we can compete with their like.
My prediction – Adelaide by 1