Mariners skipper Nick Montgomery has called on all Yellow & Navy supporters to pack out Central Coast Stadium on Sunday in the wake of reports the club is facing a ‘player exodus’ during the January transfer window.
‘Monty’ said there would be no greater feeling than playing in front of a bumper crowd when John Aloisi’s Roar side arrive in Gosford for the Round 11 Hyundai A-League encounter.
Speaking with Steve Hart live on Fox Sports News 500 , Montgomery jumped on the front foot to counter the reports that his teammates were planning to walk out on the club.
“That’s the first I had heard of players looking to leave, I spoke to the CEO Shaun Mielekamp this morning and we’re confident it’s an issue we can work through quickly as a club,” Montgomery said.
“We are in this together, the team, the club and the owner Mike Charlesworth who not long ago came in when there were unpaid wages, the club was a mess and he rescued this club from extinction.
“He [Charlesworth] took on the club when it was a mess financially and he was true to his word, we’re rebuilding and I think everybody can see that. On the pitch we have so many young players and for the likes of me, Roy O’Donovan and Josh Rose it is a pleasure playing with these young boys.
“If we’re being honest these young boys wouldn’t have been given a chance so early, so they’re in a fantastic club and you only have to look at players like Maty Ryan and Bernie Ibini as players who have benefited by being at the Mariners.
“The morale in this squad has never been better, we haven’t got the results that some of our performances deserved but that’s football. We find ourselves at the bottom of the table having played some really good football this season but there’s never going to be overnight success and we’re definitely building towards something special.
“Anyone who’s been involved with football knows that players come and go, the club moves on and I can tell you now that every young lad at the club is desperate to be playing.
“To have a coach like Tony who is willing to give youth a chance and an owner like Mike Charlesworth who is looking to the future … if I was a young lad looking from the outside and I wanted to go to an A-League club the Mariners would be at the top of the list.”
“Myself and the boys are looking forward to our next home game on the weekend and I hope that our Members and fans fill the stands to get behind us so we have every chance of bagging an important win, we want to do this for them,” Montgomery said.
Central Coast Mariners owner, Mike Charlesworth spoke with The World Game and re-assured members and fans that the club has never been in a better position financially.
"Only two to three years ago the club was over $6 million in the red and there were no guarantees around the construction of our Centre Of Excellence, where work had ceased because of considerable debt,” Charlesworth said.
"The Mariners were living far beyond their means and had no sustainable future … we're now probably more viable than ever.
"If there are historical debts that need to be addressed then they will be worked through.
"We are certainly not going to be in the business of letting any of our best young players leave the club.
"We are about to open the next phase of the Centre of Excellence, which will become the envy of the A-League, but we still do have a few issues that clearly need addressing," he added.