Australia's Daniel De Silva brings golden touch to the Hyundai A-League
The rise of Daniel De Silva has mirrored that of his team, Central Coast Mariners. And both player and club are worth watching next time they roll into your city.
The Gosford club sit fourth on 12 points, just five points behind second placed Newcastle Jets.
The excitement is back on the Coast – they're finding ways to win and entertain - and De Silva is leading the charge.
The playmaker with the intoxicating combination of Rogic-esque control of the ball, vision and a work ethic that allows him to press incessantly is now the main man in Gosford.
De Silva’s assist for Blake Powell’s winner on Sunday said it all. Hard work to get into the box then the composure to set it up.
Not just on Sunday but his goal in Round 2 against the Wanderers could well be goal of the season so far - sublime mix of aggressive running, neat interplay and a cool finish that had even some home fans admiring the class of it all.
For the neutrals, who wouldn’t want to watch this team? And who wouldn’t want to watch De Silva?
Don’t forget, he’s only 20!
After a career that drifted in Europe following a convoluted move to Italy and a loan spell in Holland, De Silva’s talent has been given what it sorely needed - a manager with belief, reciprocated by the player and a showcase in which to play weekly in the tough A-League.
Ironically, it was Kenny Lowe who first nurtured De Silva's talent back in his home state of WA.
De Silva was just 14 when the buzz began. And Lowe knew he had a gem in the small, but gifted, attacking midfielder.
So while hugely disappointed to lose, Lowe must’ve admired how his former pupil bossed the game at Central Coast Stadium on Sunday as the hosts won 1-0.
Now, six years later the NAB Young Footballer Nominee for November, in the Round 9 Team of the Week and player of the round, De Silva is delivering on his promise under Paul Okon, a a coach that guided him at youth level for Australia.
Two questions: could De Silva be that X-factor needed to take Central Coast Mariners back into the Finals Series?
And will we see him on the plane to Russia 2018?