Former youth product Kwabena Appiah has returned home to the Central Coast after stints at Western Sydney and Wellington Phoenix.
“It feels really good to be back, everyone has welcomed me with open arms,” Appiah said.
“It’s very different to when I was here [in 2011], the set up is incredible and it actually took my breath away, it’s a very professional environment.
“Tony Walmsley was the one that took me from playing in the State League and I ended up in the Mariners youth team, he’s helped me a lot and I am forever grateful for the opportunity he gave me back then and the opportunity he is giving me now.
Appiah had been keen on a return to the Central Coast for some time but it has only now eventuated.
“I wanted this reunion earlier but I’ve been elsewhere and at the end of the day I am finally back here which feels unreal," Appiah said.
“Tony, Hutch and the rest of the staff have been fantastic and I will do everything that I can to repay that faith.
“After winning the Youth League with the Mariners back in 2012 with an incredible team I was faced with a tough decision. Staying with the Mariners or going back as one of the first signings for Western Sydney Wanderers, which was an opportunity, that I couldn’t refuse.
“To be honest, when I left Western Sydney there was only one A-League club I wanted to go to and that was the Central Coast and at the moment I am finally where I want to be.
“My goals for this season are to do well in pre-season, earn that chance, cement a spot in the starting XI and finally score some A-League goals."
Despite a rough start to his A-League career, Walmsley is confident that he can turn it around at the Mariners.
“Kwabena has a lot of experience for a young player, including being voted player of the ACL campaign for the Wanderers in 2014 when they were crowned Champions of Asia,” Walmsley said.
“We are confident that this is a perfect environment for him to fulfil his potential. He is ambitious and always wanted to play for the Central Coast Mariners and his recent contribution as a trilaist has warranted him with a short-term contract.
“He had a very good trial period, fits our attacking philosophy with outstanding physical attributes and holds a desire to refine his game."