Mariners Youth get together

The Central Coast Mariners national Youth League squad has gathered for the first time today under the guidance of new head coach Tony Walmsley, to begin preparations for the upcoming season.

The Central Coast Mariners national Youth League squad has gathered for the first time today under the guidance of new head coach Tony Walmsley, to begin preparations for the upcoming season.

The 14 signed players gathered, along with five trialists , Walmsley, youth development co-ordinator Damien Brown, and team managers Daniel Findlay an Murray Bingham, at 8am this morning, for a day long induction including workshops, kit fittings and an intense training session.

The squad seemingly impressing their coach from the outset.

"I-m happy for a first up session, They were all a little bit nervous at the start but once they got into it and understood what was expected, they did a pretty good job," said NYL Head Coach Tony Walmsley.

"They were at the stadium, and they were greeted by Lyall Gorman this morning and then Lawrie. For some of them this is a whole new environment, they are probably not sure of the expectations that are going to be put on them - and they will be increased expectations. I wouldn-t say we-re going easy on them, today is a long day, the training session was just part of inducting them into the club, and setting those expectations and goals.

Brady Smith and Matthew Lewis both gained experience with the Hyundai A-League squad last campaign, and Walmsley hopes more of his young charges can follow suit, in fact, goalkeeper Matthew Ryan has already been invited to travel with the first team squad to the Gold Coast this weekend, for a pre-season trial against the Hyundai A-League-s latest franchise, Gold Coast United.

“On behalf of the youth squad we wish Matty (Ryan) the best of luck, hopefully he can get on, do really well, and push his case for a senior spot if something arises.

“Definitely Brady, Matty (Lewis) and myself were quite lucky last year, we got a lot of experience with the first team which was good, we all aspire to get in with the firsts guys because that-s how we improve as players. We-re all pushing for the same thing so hopefully it can come through for a couple of us,” said inaugural NYL captain Nathan Sherlock.

"With Matthew Lewis, we-re hopeful he-ll get a first team spot, and that would give us two spots to fill, if not, if we get to keep Matt, that would be great because he-s a great player, and then we-d have one spot to fill,” said Walmsley.

“What we have done is we-ve picked a balanced squad, we went for a younger (type of) player as our first port of call, players with national team experience who we think within two years can be A-League players, and also with the fact first team players can come down, because we do need that senior spine if you like to make us competitive.

“We-ve had the difficult decision to make with a couple of players who haven-t met the terms and conditions of our original offer, and they were based on physical capability or medical condition, so unfortunately some of the lads are going to miss out, the trialists we-ve got look of decent caliber, but we-re not going to rush that."

Despite sitting out the practical session with a minor groin problem, inaugural NYL captain Nathan Sherlock looked on, and is excited about backing up for a second tilt at the title.

"We had a couple of lectures from Lawrie and Lyall and it-s always good to hear from the bosses at the club, and for them to come down and have a few words with you, because it-s something you aspire to, to see these older guys," said talent.

"It-s going very well, we had our first session then all together as a team, so things are looking good for the next couple of weeks.

"The first season was an experiment for the FFA as well as our club, and I-m sure all the other teams who struggled to pull things together, but now with the second year structure, it-s all in phases to look at."

“We had Alex (Tobin) and Browny (Damien Brown) last year, which was awesome for us, and obviously myself because Alex was our head coach and played in the same position as I play when he was younger so there-s always something you can sponge off these guys, especially with the inclusion of Tony now, he-s very experienced, and we-ll control what he can do for us and feed off his experience.

The Central Coast Mariners begin their National Youth League campaign away to Adelaide United on the weekend of 11, 12, 13 September.

Mariners Memberships for the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season are now available online at or by phoning 1300 767 442.