The Central Coast Mariners have today announced the re-signing of winger Kwabena Appiah on a new one-year deal.
The lightning fast attacker will remain in Yellow & Navy until at least the end of the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 season thanks to his impressive campaign with the Mariners.
Starting the season as an impact substitute, Appiah worked hard to earn a regular place in Okon’s first 11 during the second half of the season and became fondly known by Mariners supporters for his marauding runs down the right-flank and never-say-die attitude in attack.
Appiah signed with the Mariners in the Hyundai A-League 2016/17 pre-season which was a return of some-sorts after winning the 2011/12 Foxtel National Youth League title alongside the likes of Mitch Duke, Bernie Ibini and Tom Rogic.
The right-winger then attracted the attention of the newly formed Western Sydney Wanderers where he made his Hyundai A-League debut against the Mariners in their first ever-competitive match. Appiah also featured for Western Sydney in the 2013 Hyundai A-League Grand Final when the Mariners were crowned Champions.
Last season Appiah’s performances were rewarded with his first two goals in the Hyundai A-League, both against Adelaide United.
Appiah thanked the Mariners’ Coaching Staff and fans for their ongoing support who he believes, have helped him deliver the best season of his career.
“I'm extremely excited to finally confirm that I'll be staying with this great club next season, there was a reason I came back last season and it's great to extend my stay,” Appiah said.
“This season was obviously my best season of football playing under Paolo [Paul Okon] – I started off really slow but then grew into it,” Appiah said. “Over the last few years I struggled to find confidence within myself and never showed what I could do, but under Paolo, Ivan Jolic [Assistant Coach] and the Mariners fans this season, they all gave me the confidence I needed to play at levels that I never thought were possible. For that, I’m forever grateful, which is why it was a no brainer to stay and play under the duo again and continue to improve my game each day.
Appiah is enjoying life on the Central Coast and wants to see finals football back at Central Coast Stadium for the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 season.
“My personal goals for next season are to obviously continue scoring goals and cementing that starting spot once again,” Appiah said. "As a collective unit, it's to help bring finals football back to the Mariners.
“I've enjoyed being back on the Coast, I moved up from Parramatta with my partner and I’m loving life here. Coming back to the Mariners and playing under Paolo has been nothing but a great adventure and I'm excited to kick on.
“I really hope the fans can continue to show their fantastic support that they not only showed me last season, but the whole team. I'm confident that with the signings the coaching staff bring in, we will be an exciting team and contend for a top six spot. I'll continue to give 100% every time I step on the field with that Yellow & Navy jersey on that I am so proud to wear,” Appiah said.
Okon was delighted to retain the services of Kwabena Appiah for another season and praised the 25-year-old speedster for his hard work and determination whilst saying the best is yet to come for ‘Kabsy’.
“Kwabena’s attitude and work ethic really won me over during the course of the season,” Okon said. “Whenever he was called upon, in our eyes, he delivered. We were delighted for him when he scored his first A-League goal and towards the back end of the season he was one of the first players on our team sheet.
“There’s definitely improvement in him, we saw that every day at training and more often than not training is what decides the line up on the weekend and his application at training allowed him to get to a level where he could perform consistently well for us. That’s part of the reason why we showed faith in him and offered him a new deal.
“At most professional clubs, players have to battle for spots. Last season we were in a good position where we had four very good wingers to choose from and as a coach it’s the best headache to have when you have a fit Trent Buhagiar and Kwabena Appiah to choose from and the team will only benefit from that,” Okon said.