Central Coast Mariners captain Nick Montgomery has announced his retirement from professional football and accepted an off-field role with the club.
Montgomery signed with the Central Coast Mariners in the lead up to the 2012/13 Championship winning season and has been a mainstay in the midfield since joining the Club from Sheffield United.
The 35-year-old made over 400 competitive appearances for ‘The Blades’, including a season in the English Premier League. After earning Club Legend status at Sheffield United, ‘Monty’ arrived on the Central Coast to link with the Mariners and has made 116 Hyundai A-League appearances for the Yellow and Navy.
The Championship winning midfielder fast became a fan favourite on the Central Coast and was an obvious decision for captaincy when he was awarded the skipper’s armband from outgoing captain, John Hutchinson in 2015.
Montgomery found the back of the net three times during his career with the Mariners and signed off in style by winning the club’s ‘Noel Spencer Goal of the Year’ Award for his stunning strike against the Newcastle Jets in Hyundai A-League round 26, ultimately handing the Mariners’ fierce rivals the wooden spoon.
Montgomery will take on a key leadership role within the Central Coast Mariners Hyundai A-League, Foxtel National Youth League and Academy sides and ensure that the club’s values are maintained.
Montgomery has also agreed to a guest playing stint with PS4 NPL NSW Club, Wollongong Wolves FC where he will take on a mentoring role with Jacob Timpano’s young side for their 13 remaining league games of the season.
Nick Montgomery thanked Mariners’ fans for their ongoing support, spoke about his decision to retire from professional football and fondly reflected on his five seasons with the Mariners.
“It’s not been the easiest decision in the world but I think it’s the right decision and right time at this stage in my career,” Montgomery said. “I had a few conversations with Paul Okon, the coaching staff, the CEO & the owner about this new role, which most clubs in the A-League have. Most of the clubs in the A-League have someone heading up football, working between the first team and the CEO to really push this club forward to ensure we compete with all the other clubs in the league. Despite not having the spending power of the other clubs, I’m confident that we can attract the right players so that we can be challenging for the top six every season.
“To come out here, win the grand final and play in the Asian Champions League straight away was fantastic. The fans have been brilliant, this is a fantastic place to play football, it’s been a tough couple of seasons but moving forward the club is in a great position. This season we set a platform with a new playing style and I think everyone can see that the club is on the way up – hopefully we can bring some new signings in and turn this club back into a team challenging for that top six every year.
“I look back on my career with fond memories having played at the highest level but for me it’s good that I can carry on playing semi-pro for a while – this is a decision where I’ve put the family first, a decision that is perfect for our long term future here on the Central Coast, with the Mariners.
“I want to thank everyone for how amazing they’ve all been since I arrived. From the moment I arrived the supporters and local community have always been kind to me. I’ve made some amazing friends and some are like family now. My daughters have grown up here, they started school on the Coast this year and it’s a special place so I love that we’ve made the decision to settle here and not to move on.
“I’ve been loyal since the day I started out my career. I spent 14 years at one club in England and five with one club here. I’ve never been one to jump ship, I always like a challenge, I’ve had great success and tough times both here and in England but I’m a loyal person who always wants to see a challenge through. I’m committed to making the club a better place and help the young pros.
“There’s not much loyalty in football now but I’m proud to say that I only played for two clubs in my professional career,” Montgomery said.