Hutchinson signs on for decade with Mariners

Central Coast Mariners stalwart John Hutchinson is set to make it a decade with the Gosford club, extending his contract for two seasons.

Central Coast Mariners stalwart John Hutchinson is set to make it a decade with the Gosford club, extending his contract for two seasons.

Hutchinson was one of the first players signed by the Mariners for the inaugural season of the Hyundai A-League in 2005.

The 33-year-old played for Gippsland Flacons (later Eastern Pride) and Northern Spirit in the National Soccer League, before making 193 competitive appearances for the Mariners.

The Mariners skipper said he had never considered anything other than committing his future to the Gosford club.

“I don-t think I will ever leave the Mariners to go to another club in the A-League,” Hutchinson said.

“I love the Coast and I love the club, and my family is very happy here. Football and life can change quickly, but if this is the last contract I sign in the A-League then I will be very happy.”

While Hutchinson enjoyed a brief spell on loan under Lawrie McKinna at China-s Chengdu Blades in 2011, the 2014/15 season will mark the former Maltese international-s tenth with the reigning Premiers.

The Mariners are set to mark their captain's service with a testimonial match for Hutchinson, subsequent to FFA approval, ahead of the 2014/15 A-League season.

“It would be good if that happened and if it does I-d like a lot of people to come back and celebrate the day with me,” he said.

“There-s been a lot of people who have been around the club for a long time as well, and they-ve all helped contribute to the success that we-ve had.”

Mariners coach Graham Arnold said Hutchinson deserved the extension to his current deal.

“Hutch has been here since day one and is one of the true servants of the club,” Arnold said.

“He has shown great loyalty over an extended period of time and is a great example to many of the young players that we have in the team.”