Central Coast Mariners have put faith in Alen Stajcic to turn the club’s fortunes around, appointing him as head coach for the next three Hyundai A-League seasons.
Stajcic came in as the Mariners’ caretaker coach in March following the sacking of Mike Mulvey.
The former Westfield Matildas boss took charge of six games, with the Mariners winning two of those including the crazy 3-2 F3 Derby triumph over the Newcastle Jets.
“For us to become a successful club again, we need the support of the whole community and we need to show mental toughness and resilience to once again become the proud symbol of the Central Coast,” Stajcic told the Mariners’ official website.
“I’ll never forget walking through the doors on day one. To feel the welcoming aspect of the club, the warmth from the people within the club, to see the hardworking people behind the scenes.
“It really was eye opening to see how much these people love the club, how much passion there was.”
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It’s been a tough few seasons for the Central Coast, who have finished with the wooden spoon in three of the last four campaigns.
But Stajcic has been given time to help turn the club around, with his deal keeping him in Gosford until the end of the Hyundai A-League 2021/22 season.
“Now that I know that I am going to be here for the next three years we really need to set our mind on building this club,” he said.
“We all know that it’s been a tough few years and nostalgically we look back to the glory days, but we need to reflect on the past few years and think about how we can rebuild."
Mariners Chairman Mike Charlesworth added: “Alen boasts years of success as a coach and in his short period with us, he has made a very strong and positive impression with his attention to detail, hard-working ethics and his drive and ambition to be successful.
“The Board is now working very closely with Alen to ensure that he and his staff have access to the resources needed to build a competitive squad for next season and beyond. This remains the club’s number one priority.
“The focus for next season's squad recruitment is already in full swing. Alen is currently in Europe scouting potential players for next year’s visa spots.”