Mariners player search takes Walmsley to UK

Central Coast coach Tony Walmsley is on the hunt for a striker and a central defender to boost his squad ahead of the new A-League season.

Walmsley has been in the UK the past few weeks as he looks to continue the Mariners’ recruiting.

The club has already signed Irish forward Roy O’Donovan and Australian midfielder Mitch Austin for the upcoming campaign.

Walmsley said he would like to bring in three more players before the season kicks off at Central Coast Stadium against Perth Glory on October 10.

“We’re looking for another striker and central defender,” he told FourFourTwo.

“Roy O’Donovan’s got a real pedigree, he’s a goal scorer. He’ll give room for the likes of Anthony Caceres to come into his own. He’s at the right age.

“Mitch Austin will stretch teams down the left side. He’s got a lot of power. He’s a pacey left winger. The National Youth League will be very important for us (also). We’ll need to recruit very smartly there for players that can step up.”

The Mariners currently have 19 players on their books following the retirement of John Hutchinson and the departures of Zac Anderson, Isaka Cernak, Brent Griffiths and Matt Simon.

Walmsley has visited Everton and has identified two of their players that may be suitable for a loan move to the Central Coast.

“There’s a couple of players that fit the bill,” he said.

“Finding the right one is a challenge. We have to make sure they’re the right fit.

Walmsley is confident the appointment of Brice Johnson as the club’s new strength and conditioning coach will be crucial.

“Brice is an ex sprinter and specialises in movement patterns,” he said.

“He brings massive enthusiasm to the team. He’s an experienced man manager. We’re going to play a very demanding playing style physically and Brice will be a big part of that.

“We’re very respectful of the past but we’re trying to build a new future for the Mariners."