Hutch hands Monty the armband as Mariners move on

Defensive midfielder Nick Montgomery has been handed the Central Coast Mariners’ armband following the retirement of long-serving captain John Hutchinson.

Montgomery will get his first chance to test his captaincy on the weekend when he tries to take the club great down.

‘Monty’ will lead the Mariners out against a host of returning club legends in Hutchinson’s testimonial match on Saturday.

The 33-year-old said it was a “great honour” to be named captain.

“Coming here, Hutch took me in and has looked after me the last couple of years and I’ve got some massive boots to fill,” Montgomery said.

“I’ve been here for three years now, I’ve lived and breathed the culture of this club and Hutch has been a great leader.

“Taking the man (Hutchinson)] down, that’s what I’ll be trying to do this weekend so that will be fun. I’ve played with him for three years but it will be nice to play against him on Saturday.

 “Hopefully I can give the armband the credit it deserves,” Montgomery said.

Montgomery arrived on the Central Coast in the lead up to the 2012/13 Championship-winning season and has been a mainstay in the centre of the park since joining the club from Sheffield United.

The 33-year-old made over 300 appearances for The Blades, including a season in the English Premier League. After becoming a club legend at Sheffield United, he arrived on the Central Coast to link with the Mariners and has made 72 A-League appearances for the yellow and navy.

Hutchinson, who has joined the club's coaching ranks, said Montgomery was the ideal man to take the Mariners forward after a disappointing eighth-place finish in 2014/15.

“For me it’s the best choice,” Hutchinson said.

“First and foremost he’s a family man and a great leader in the change room. You could see when he first came in, you could see how much experience and leadership he brought to the club, he fitted in well with the team culture and the biggest part about Monty is that he’s a team player.

“Nothing’s about him and as a captain you’ve got to give everything and that’s what Monty’s about. He’s a great man and he’s the best man for the job.

Head Coach Tony Walmsley, who also spent time at Sheffield United, described the incoming skipper as a natural successor for Hutchinson.

“If you’re looking for a player to lead by example, Monty is it,” Walmsley said.

“His work ethic is well known, he’s been Captain before at a very big club so he understands the responsibility that goes with it.

“Monty is a humble guy, a very hard working guy. He comes from the north of England and he’s had to work incredibly hard, so he carries that with him.

“Because of the character that he is, he demands the same of everyone around him.”

Match details

Saturday May 23, 2015

Match: Hutch’s XI vs. Central Coast Mariners

Venue: Pluim Park, Lisarow

Kick-off: 6:00pm

Twitter: Join the match conversation using #HutchTestimonial #CCMFC

HUTCH’S XI: Danny VUKOVIC, Andrew CLARK, Tony VIDMAR, Chris DOIG, Nigel BOOGAARD. Michael BEAUCHAMP, Patrick ZWAANSWIJK, Dean HEFFERNAN, Matthew OSMAN, Vuko TOMASEVIC, Matthew CROWELL, Andre GUMPRECHT, Rostyn GRIFFITHS, Sasho PETROVSKI, Tom PONDELJAK, Nik MRDJA, Bernie IBINI, Mile STERJOVSKI, Adam KWASNIK, Matthew SIMON, John HUTCHINSON