The Central Coast Mariners’ preseason preparations are well underway, with Head Coach, Mike Mulvey, at the helm.
There’s been plenty of movement on the transfer front, so let’s take a look at who’s arrived and who’s departed the Central Coast. It’s been a busy few months for the Mariners, who have hit the ground running on the recruitment trail. With 11 players departing since the completion of last season, Mulvey has already added eight new faces to his squad, with three months remaining until the start of the Hyundai A-League season.
To keep everyone up to speed, here’s a snapshot of Mulvey’s recruits thus far. Jonathan Aspropotamitis: 22-year old Jonathan ‘Aspro’, as he became affectionately known at the Western Sydney Wanderers, joins the club on a one-year deal with 43 Hyundai A-League appearances to his name. Aspro adds youthful exuberance and cover for Mulvey’s back four. Aspro is an Australian under 23 representative, captaining the side on three occasions. Jack Clisby: The 26-year-old defender was Mulvey’s first acquisition in the pre-season and joins the Yellow and Navy on a one-year deal. Clisby boasts Hyundai A-League experience beyond his years which started with his hometown club, Perth Glory.
He then went on to play for both Melbourne City and the Western Sydney Wanderers and adds valuable proficiency to the side, having played 97 games in Australia’s top flight. His defensive and attacking traits down the left will be key to the Mariners this season. Mario Shabow: The 20-year-old attacking midfielder joins the Mariners after stints with the Western Sydney Wanderers and Newcastle Jets. Shabow began his career at Blacktown City, before he was called into the Wanderers’ ranks. Born in Iraq, Shabow chose to play for the Young Socceroos in 2015, and went on to score two goals for his country. After making seven appearances for the Jets last season, Shabow joins the Yellow and Navy, looking to show the Hyundai A-League what he has to offer in the team’s front third. Corey Gameiro: 25-year-old striker, Corey Gameiro, adds firepower to the Mariners’ attacking stocks after signing a one-year deal with the club from Brisbane Roar.
The Port Kembla product started his career with the South Coast Wolves before trying his luck in England with Fulham, and spending time on loan at FC Eindhoven in Holland. The striker has been in the Hyundai A-League since 2012, appearing for the Wellington Phoenix, Sydney FC, Melbourne City and Brisbane Roar. His career has been interrupted by injury, but he is fit and firing to go for the upcoming season.
Gameiro will add a cutting edge up front for the club with plenty of goals on his mind. Matt Simon: The Yellow and Navy’s all-time leading goal scorer returns to his hometown club after three successful years at Sydney FC. Simon has made 151 appearances in two stints for the club, scoring a record 41 goals. Simon first left the Mariners for a chance to play in South Korea. The chance to play under Graham Arnold appealed to Simon, where he made 67 appearances for Sydney FC, scoring five goals. Four trophies were won at the Sky Blues during Simon’s tenure and he will be keen to add a new element to the new-look Mariners’ attack.
Michael McGlinchey: Another former Mariners’ fan favourite returns to the Yellow and Navy with Championship winner ‘Wee Mac’ inking a two year deal with the club. The 31-year-old Kiwi international has spent the last four years with the Wellington Phoenix, but the attacking midfielder jumped at the chance to return to the club he raised a Championship trophy within 2013. McGlinchey made 85 appearances with the Phoenix, scoring 11 goals, but he will now be able to add to his 120 appearances for the Mariners, where he has also scored 11 goals.
The Kiwi also boats 52 appearances for the New Zealand side, scoring five goals for his country. Mulvey is determined to rediscover the winning culture the Mariners became synonymous within the first decade of the Hyundai A-League, and the Simon/ McGlinchey combo will be crucial to that. Kalifa Cisse: The Central Coast Mariners confirmed the signing of 34-year-old Kalifa Cisse, who put pen-to-paper on a one-year deal ahead of the 2018/19 season. Cisse brings experience to the backline for the Mariners, and his pedigree includes campaigns in Portugal, the MLS, but most notably, he had a successful career in England, where he played for Reading, Bristol City and Derby County. Cisse has been playing in Thailand for four years, and played under Mulvey at BEC Tero Sasana in 2017.
Cisse has also represented Mali playing games at the U20 level and the senior level. Cisse will bring a steel to the Mariners’ backline as an experienced centre-back. Joe Gauci: The 17-year old highly rated shot-stopper from South Australia, has made a life-changing move to the Central Coast from NPL South Australia club, West Torrens Birkalla SC, after signing his first professional contract. Gauci signed a Hyundai A-League scholarship, and will ply his trade with fellow members of the Keepers Union, Ben Kennedy and Adam Pearce. Departed players from the 2017-18 season include: Alan Baro, Trent Buhagiar, Wout Brama, Liam Rose, Storm Roux, Jacob Poscoliero, Josh Bingham, Blake Powell, Josh Rose, Peter Skapetis and Tom Glover.
Source: Website, Jul 5 Tyson Scott, Central Coast Mariners