Mariners attain ownership of CCMA

Central Coast Mariners will attain full control of its Academy pathway from October 1 after a Heads of Agreement with Central Coast Football was reached.

Central Coast Mariners will attain full control of its Academy pathway from October 1 after a Heads of Agreement with Central Coast Football (CCF) ensuring the transfer of the system to the Mariners was signed late last week.

For the past two seasons CCF has administered Central Coast Mariners Academy (CCMA) on behalf of the reigning Hyundai A-League Champions, with the view to transferring ownership of the system to the Mariners when the Club was financially ready.

Central Coast Mariners Group General Manager, Mr Peter Turnbull, said the time had come for the Club to take on direct management of the program, enabling the Mariners to have greater input into the system-s philosophy, delivery, and outcomes.

“We believe this agreement ought to excite junior footballers on the Central Coast,” Turnbull said. “The pathway for junior players to progress from SAP (Skills Acquisition Program) to the Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League, and beyond, is now far clearer.”

Central Coast Mariners Majority Owner, Mr Michael Charlesworth, confirmed that many of the discussions regarding the transfer of the program from CCF to the Mariners had involved the Club-s widely respected Head Coach, Graham Arnold.

“Graham and our first team coaching staff, as well as our Foxtel National Youth League Head Coach Patrick Zwaanswijk, have committed to providing their input and expertise to the Academy,” Charlesworth explained. “Their knowledge and experience will be invaluable to us as we seek to hire Academy coaches and staff capable of instilling our philosophy and methodologies in talented local players.”

Arnold described the agreement as key to the long-term future of the Club.

“Today is a great day for Central Coast football,” Arnold said. “The pathway is now complete. I am looking forward to coaching the Academy coaches and am extremely excited for the future of the program.”

Under the terms of the agreement, the Mariners will also employ a part-time Technical Director to liaise with Arnold and his staff to ensure the successful implementation of the program. The current CCMA Football Manager will also continue to process the administrative components of the program as a Mariners employee.

CCF Chairman, Mr Darren Sprod, expressed his delight regarding the program-s transition in a letter to CCMA players, parents, coaches and supporters last Friday.

“This is an exciting time for elite development on the Central Coast as the Mariners Head Coach Graham Arnold will directly oversee the coaching and development in the program and will have direct input into player development along with his coaching staff,” Sprod wrote.

Testimony to the intention of the Mariners in providing an elite pathway can be clearly seen this season - six players from the year-s Central Coast Mariners Academy pathway are set to be included in Zwaanswijk-s Foxtel National Youth League squad to be announced soon.

The transfer of CCMA to the Mariners will enable CCF to apply greater attention to the local Central Coast grassroots competitions.