Mike Mulvey continues to solidify his Central Coast Mariners playing roster, with teenage defender Kye Rowles agreeing to stay in Gosford.
The Mariners confirmed on Wednesday that Rowles had inked a one-year contract extension, keeping him at the club until the end of the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Season.
The 19-year-old is coming off his first season with the Mariners after joining from Brisbane Roar, playing 11 times after the early part of the campaign was hampered by a knee injury.
Rowles averaged more than 45 passes per game in 2017/18 at an accuracy of almost 71%. He also made 37 clearances and 14 intercepts.
“I’m really happy to earn another contract here at the Mariners,” Rowles said.
“It gives me confidence heading into next season knowing that Mike and the club want me here, so my goal now is to repay the faith.
“I want to give this team everything, I love it here at the Central Coast Mariners. I feel like I’ve been here for so much longer than the 12 months it’s been – the club as a whole is moving forward so hopefully this season we can prove to everyone how many steps forward we’ve taken.
“The fans here have been great to me. It would be great to get back to being a successful team like this club once was – to see the stadium full and rocking again would be unreal – we need to get back to that, relish it and repay the fans for their loyalty,” Rowles said.
Rowles, who represented Australia at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2015, adds further depth to the Mariners defence after the acquisition of Jack Clisby earlier this week.
Skipper Alan Baro, centre-back Antony Golec and Jake McGing are other defenders still on the books for next season.
The club also secured attacker Corey Gameiro from Brisbane Roar on Tuesday.
While Kiama-born Rowles has played most of his career as a centre-back, he was used predominantly at left-back for most of the recent campaign.
Mulvey added of securing his signature: “Kye is a very promising defender and has shown his versatility to play multiple defensive positions.
“At just 19-years-of-age, we are confident that Kye can really excel with a full pre-season under his belt, and ultimately stake a claim for his inclusion come round one.
“There needs to be competition for places across the board and last season Kye took every opportunity he earned with both hands, so we look forward to seeing him develop this season.”
Central Coast Mariners Squad
Goalkeepers: Adam PEARCE, Ben KENNEDY
Defenders: Alan BARO, Antony GOLEC, Jake McGING, Kye ROWLES, Jack CLISBY
Midfielders: Adam BERRY, Wout BRAMA, Tom HIARIEJ, Jacob MELLING, Danny De SILVA
Attackers: Andrew HOOLE, Connor PAIN, Corey GAMEIRO