Central Coast Mariners skipper, Nick Montgomery , became an Australian Citizen on Australia Day along with his wife Josie and twin five-year-old daughters, Leah and Chloe.
English – born Montgomery arrived on the Central Coast in 2012 after making the bold decision to relocate from Sheffield, South Yorkshire, to the sunny Central Coast of New South Wales. After managing over 400 appearances for Sheffield United, which included a season in the English Premier League, Montgomery etched his name firmly into Blade folklore, becoming a club legend for the red and white. ‘Monty’, as he is affectionately known, played a crucial role in the club’s promotion from the Championship to English Premier League in the 2005/06 season that saw him finish second, behind Phil Jagielka, in the club’s player of the year plaudits.
Montgomery had it made in Sheffield after spending his whole life working to establish a place in their first team, but it was an unexpected phone call from the Central Coast Mariners to Sheffield United’s Owner, Mr Kevin McCabe, that would change Montgomery’s life. With family in tow, Montgomery made a life changing decision that landed him in the heart of a Championship winning Central Coast Mariners’ midfield.
Now almost five years on, with his two girls about to start their first year of school on the Central Coast, Montgomery couldn’t be happier with how his family’s leap of faith has paid off and couldn’t be prouder to call himself an Australian. “This is a proud moment for me and my family,” Montgomery said. “We came here just over four years ago, and after six months, my wife’s home sickness went, and we just realised what a fantastic place this is for families.
“To have young children and see them outdoors and enjoying life with all the activities Australia has to offer, we said, let’s get permanent residency. “We now have so many good friends out here, so it was a great moment when we were awarded Australian citizenship on Australia Day,” Montgomery said. Talking about their decision to move to the Central Coast, Montgomery was blown away with how quickly it all took shape after turning down countless opportunities to play football elsewhere.
“Looking back, I’d spent 14 years at Sheffield United and had some fantastic times and great memories there, and the funny thing is, I had so many opportunities to move clubs and I always thought I’m happy where I am, and my family is happy that I’m at a big club, so why do I need to move. “I stayed there for 14 years, but then I got to a stage where I thought I want to try something different and go play abroad, and Australia was always somewhere I’d like to go.
“At the time there was a connection between Sheffield United and the Mariners and it all happened really quickly. “I spoke to the Sheffield owner, Kevin McCabe, whom I’ve known for a long time, and he couldn’t speak more highly of the Central Coast. “When I told my wife Josie, we had to decide really quickly. “When she asked where it was, let’s just say she was a little bit shocked, but once I spoke to Graham Arnold and Lawrie McKinna, we took the opportunity with both hands, and here we are four years later,” Montgomery said.
Media release, Jan 25, 2017 Tyson Scott, Central Coast Mariners Media