CENTRAL Coast Mariners will take full control of its Academy pathway next month after signing a deal with Central Coast Football.
For the past two seasons CCF has run Central Coast Mariners Academy on behalf of the Mariners, with a plan to transfer ownership to the Mariners when the club was financially ready.
With Mike Charlesworth now taking ownership and investing in the side, the club believes it is the right time to take over now.
Mariners General Manager Peter Turnbull said the deal will allow the Mariners to have greater input into the system’s "...philosophy, delivery and outcomes.
“We believe this agreement ought to excite junior footballers on the Central Coast. “he pathway for junior players to progress from Skills Acquisition Program to the A-League and W-League, and beyond, is now far clearer.”
Discussions about the transfer of the program from CCF to the Mariners had involved the club coach Graham Arnold, said owner Charlesworth.
“Graham and our first team coaching staff, as well as our youth coach Patrick Zwaanswijk, have committed to providing their input and expertise to the Academy,” said Charlesworth.
“Their knowledge and experience will be invaluable to us as we seek to hire Academy coaches and staff capable of instilling our philosophy and methodologies in talented local players.”
Arnold described the agreement as key to the long-term future of the club.
“Today is a great day for Central Coast football,” Arnold said. “The pathway is now complete. I am looking forward to coaching the Academy coaches and am extremely excited for the future of the program.”
Under the terms of the agreement, the Mariners will also employ a part-time Technical Director to liaise with Arnold and his staff to ensure the successful implementation of the program. The current CCMA Football Manager will also continue to process the administrative components of the program as a Mariners employee.
CCF Chairman Darren Sprod spoke of his delight about the program’s transition in a letter to CCMA players, parents, coaches and supporters last Friday.
“This is an exciting time for elite development on the Central Coast as Arnold will directly oversee the coaching and development in the program and will have direct input into player development along with his coaching staff,” Sprod wrote.
The intention of the Mariners to provide an elite junior pathway will be seen this season, with six players from the 2013 Central Coast Mariners Academy pathway set to be included in Zwaanswijk’s soon-to-be-announced NYL squad.