The Central Coast Mariners have reached an agreement with Capital football that will see the Hyundai A-League club identify Canberra’s best footballers and invite them to trial with the Mariners on the Central Coast.
In the lead up to Hyundai A-League season 12 with the assistance of Capital Football, the Central Coast Mariners will select three players and one coach from Canberra for a weeklong trial at the Central Coast Mariners Centre of Excellence.
With Canberra’s GIO Stadium set to host two Central Coast Mariners’ home games this season, the Mariners are building on their already strong relationship with the ACT’s football governing body and the collaborative talent pathway is the next big step.
The Mariners are excited at the opportunity to unearth the next big thing that Canberra has to offer and will work alongside Capital Football to compile a list of candidates that will gain an unparalleled opportunity to benefit from experience with a full time professional set up.
During a week where Central Coast Mariners players; Head Coach Tony Walmsley & CEO Shaun Mielekamp joined thousands of football families in Canberra for Kanga Cup, the Mariners were able to reach an agreement with Capital Football that makes this exciting initiative possible.
The Central Coast Mariners also finalised plans to re-visit Canberra for a weeklong pre-season trip during September that will see the entire squad in the nation’s Capital for a range of pre-season matches and community activations.
During the Yellow & Navy’s visit in September the Mariners will play against a selection of Canberra’s best players which will help the Mariners’ football department decide which three players make the final cut.
Head Coach Tony Walmsley is excited at the opportunity the Capital Draft creates for Canberra and Central Coast Mariners.
“There are some exciting possibilities being discussed that can support the identification and development of local Canberra players through non-traditional means,” Walmsley said. “Work is underway to refine the model, but the addition of Canberra within our formal development structure expands our catchment significantly and I'm excited to see the first draft of players on the Coast.
“It’s fantastic to play two matches in Canberra, we want to make this a home away from home and build on it. Wellington have a squad of new talent and we’re playing the current Champions in Adelaide United so there are two great games for the local community, we want to make life difficult for our opponents to visit and come away with two victories in Canberra,” Walmsley said.
Central Coast Mariners CEO Shaun Mielekamp thanked Capital Football for welcoming the Mariners with open arms.
“I’d like to thank Mark O’Neill, Phil Brown and the Capital Football Board and as our relationship with Capital Football grows it’s going to be great for football in the region,” Mielekamp said. “We’re really excited about the Capital Draft and the two games we are playing in Canberra.
“Our two matches at GIO Stadium give us the opportunity to showcase our brand and form genuine connections in Canberra so we look forward to being more involved with community football in the A.C.T. and putting on a very special couple of events.
“A lot of our Members are very excited about making the trip down and are planning the road trip down Remembrance Drive so it’s going to be great for the Canberra economy,” Mielekamp said.