Arnold flags changes

After 10 successful years with the national team, incoming Central Coast coach Graham Arnold is confident he can guide the Mariners back to the top of the Hyundai A-League next season.

After 10 successful years with the national team, incoming Central Coast coach Graham Arnold is confident he can guide the Mariners back to the top of the Hyundai A-League next season.

Arnold was appointed Mariners coach last week and took charge of his first session at Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford on Tuesday.

Arnold does not officially take charge until after his national team commitments end after this year's World Cup.

But he was keen for an early start to run his eye over the squad.

Arnold said he could not wait to get back into club coaching after so long with the national team.

"I've had a wonderful experience working with the Socceroos but club coaching is always something I wanted to get back into," Arnold said.

"The job really starts in July but with so much work to do I wanted to get an early start."

"I'm excited to get out on the field every day."

Arnold said recruitment is vital if the Mariners are to return to the top of the table next season.

After a horror run of results the Mariners missed the finals and finished only one point clear of wooden-spooner Adelaide this campaign.

"For the club to be successful again changes have to be made," Arnold said.

"We need a fresh start and a big part of that is recruiting new players to the club. We've got to work within the salary cap but I've got a lot of contacts overseas so recruitment is the first crucial thing we've got to get right."

Several players, including defenders Dean Heffernan and Nigel Boogaard, have already moved on, while many others are off contract.

"It's all about balance," Arnold said.

"I'm looking at some left-sided players. The defence was the third best in the league this season so that's fine, but we need more depth. I also want to bring in some pace up front. I'm looking at players the crowd will come to see."

Arnold said he was looking forward to forming a good working relationship with outgoing coach Lawrie McKinna.

McKinna has stayed on as the club's football and commercial operations manager.