Fallen Mariners rebuff McKinna's help

Central Coast Mariners have snubbed an approach by former title-winning coach Lawrie McKinna to help the troubled Gosford outfit out of its current malaise.

McKinna, who took the club to its first premiership, said the dire state of the Mariners sparked him into action – but his offer of help was rebuffed.

The club has just one win this season, sits rock bottom of the A-League table on five points and is on course for its worst season ever.

McKinna during his days as Mariners coach

McKinna now Mayor of Gosford told The Australian: “I couldn’t sit back and watch what was happening. I got in touch with the club the other day and offered my services.

“I told them I didn’t want the coaching job, but thought I could help with my experience on and off the field. I’ve been through these tough times before so I know how to handle these situations.

“I have had so many people ask me to come back and help and I really thought I could do something to get the fans back.”

He added: “I know the people, the fans, the football.

“But the club got back to me and said they didn’t need me.

“I tried. I put my hand up. I can’t do any more than that. At least I tried to do the right thing.”

The former coach attended Saturday’s game at Allianz Stadium when Tony Walmsley’s men, down to 10, were thrashed 4-1 by rivals Sydney FC.

He described what he saw on the pitch as “awful” and a far cry from what the club delivered under the McKinna-Graham Arnold reign.

Arnold shakes hands with Mariners after Saturday's loss

Post-match Arnold, now coach of the Sky Blues, stoked the fire saying there was no pressure on the Mariners or Walmsley who has emphasised "entertaining" football.

“At the end of the day, I don’t know why there’s this sudden panic and depression about why the Mariners are losing,” Arnold said.

“Tony was given a mandate that he didn’t have to win by the owner Mike Charlesworth, which puts him in a very secure position.

“So I don’t think it matters that he hasn’t won a game since the first round, as my understanding was that winning didn’t matter, for them it’s all about being entertaining.”

The Mariners ended last season in 8th, at that point an equal all-time low for the club, which is now on track for the wooden spoon.

Central Coast Mariners 10-year record

05/06 3rd (McKinna)

06/07 6th (McKinna)

07/08 Premiers (McKinna)

08/09 4th (McKinna)

09/10 8th (McKinna)

10/11 Runners-up (McKinna/Arnold)

11/12 Premiers (Arnold)

12/13 Runners-up, Champions (Arnold)

13/14 3rd (Arnold/Moss)

14/15 8th (Moss/Walmsley)

Current 10th (Walmsley)

1 comment


If the Mariners fall over at least it will hopefully be the end of that insufferable brass ensemble