McKinna: Arnold the perfect fit

Departing Central Coast coach Lawrie McKinna has declared Qantas Socceroos assistant Graham Arnold the perfect candidate to replace him at the Mariners' helm, declaring the club would be stronger for his arrival.

Departing Central Coast coach Lawrie McKinna has declared Qantas Socceroos assistant Graham Arnold the perfect candidate to replace him at the Mariners' helm, declaring the club would be stronger for his arrival.

McKinna played a role in enticing Arnold to the club once he decided this season would be his last as head coach, the veteran manager changing from tracksuit to business suit to take up a role in the club's football and commercial operations.

Arnold has spent the past decade in the Qantas Socceroos set-up and will bring a wealth of experience, including two World Cup campaigns, with him to Bluetongue Stadium.

"His experience over the past 10 years learning under some of the best coaches in the world will be invaluable," McKinna told Sportal on Wednesday.

"He's a fresh face with fresh ideas."

"I think him coming in after me being there five years - and me being upstairs - the club's in a much stronger place on and off the field."

"We've got a lot to look forward to."

McKinna revealed the Mariners didn't have a plan B as far as a coaching successor, with former Qantas Socceroo Arnold the one and only target.

"I was involved in some of the earlier discussions and Arnie was always the man we had in mind," McKinna said.

"I've known Arnie a long time and had a good relationship with him and I think it's a good move to appoint him."

"He's been in the Socceroos set-up for a while now and he's looking forward to getting involved in day-to-day coaching at club level."

McKinna will preside over his last game as Mariners coach when they meet Wellington at Westpac Stadium on Friday night.

Central Coast is out of the finals race for the first time in its history after a frustrating and indifferent campaign, but the affable Scotsman is not ready to throw the towel in just yet.

After five years in charge as the only coach the club has known, McKinna concedes his final game will be emotion-charged but won't let that distract him.

"I will try to focus on winning a game Friday and then I will start a new job on Monday," he said.

"But I will be pretty emotional after the final whistle I suppose. I will tell you just how emotional after the game."

"At full-time it will probably sink in that next season I will be sitting in a corporate box when the first game kicks off."

But his passion for the blue and gold will not change, even though he will be watching from the stands and not the sideline from next season.

"It's going to be different but I'll still be jumping up and down and behind the team as much as I did on the bench," he said.

"I just won't have as much room to run about and scream because I might run into somebody and spill their drink."