Andrew Hoole has stolen the show in his first outing for Central Coast Mariners, scoring a first-half hat-trick in the club's big win over the Central Coast All Stars on Wednesday nnight.
In their first hit-out of the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 pre-season, the Mariners romped to a 6-0 win against a side made up of the best local talent from the region.
In his first appearance, Hoole took the first half by the scruff of the neck by scoring an impressive hat-trick in just 24 minutes.
His three goals were comprised by two solo strikes from distance and a penalty, which he won after being fouled in the box.
Josh Bingham looked very dangerous on multiple occasions only to be denied twice by the offside flag, as did young gun Peter Kekeris who created two chances from the left wing.
After heading into the sheds with a 3-0 lead, both teams were completely changed at half time and Jake McGing handed the captain’s armband to Alan Baro at centre back.
A deflected shot off Kwabena Appiah extended the Mariners lead to 4-0 in the second half which was quickly matched by a close-range header from Academy’s Duncan Stewart to make it 5-0.
Connor Pain also found his name on the scoresheet in the second half who converted a precision Stewart cross.
The Central Coast Mainers would like to thank all of the dedicated fans who came out and supported both the Mariners and Central Coast All Stars at Pluim Park. It was a great night for football on the Central Coast.
9’ HOOLE GOAL: The Mariners had a 1-0 lead in the first ten minutes, thanks to an impeccable curling strike from Andrew Hoole. His shot was directed perfectly just inside the far post for his first goal in Yellow & Navy.
12’ HOOLE (2) GOAL: Hoole calmly doubled his tally for the night and his side’s lead after winning a penalty. Hoole converted his own spot kick to make it 2-0.
24’: HOOLE (3) GOAL: A third goal from Hoole made it 3-0 and this time it was again outside the box that delivered his hat-trick in just 24 minutes.
43’ APPIAH GOAL: A strong shot on goal from Stewart deflected off Appiah into the back of the net to open the second half.
50’ STEWART GOAL: A clean header from Duncan Stewart rocketed across the line to put the Mariners ahead 5-0 from close range.
64’ PAIN GOAL: A combined attacking effort from the Mariners allowed Connor Pain to make a swift strike from close range. Appiah played the ball wide to Stewart who delivered a precision cross, Pain was in the right place at the right time to finish for 6-0.
Paul Okon's thoughts: “We haven’t been training for too long and most of these boys haven’t played since April so it’s important that we got through our first game with no complications and no injuries.
“We were able to play a bit of football, score some goals, start to refine our playing style and introduce it to a number of players who are new to it. All in all a pleasing night for everyone.
“The boys have returned in very good condition, we worked them very hard at the end of the season and they all had a program to follow during the off-season - everyone has turned up like we would have hoped.
“At the end of season we spoke about the type of team we want to be this year and we want to be one of the fittest. We’re only going to achieve that if we work hard and tonight was a step in the right direction.
“I hope he [Hoole] hasn’t scored all of his goals tonight. I have worked with Hooley before so I know his quality. He’s someone that really excites me and someone that I am confident will have a big impact on our season."