Central Coast Mariners midfielder Liam Rose

Rose wants Mariners midfield role

After breaking into the fringes of Central Coast Mariners’ first team, 18-year-old midfielder Liam Rose hopes his name will soon be one of the first on the teamsheet.

The Young Socceroo midfielder broke into the Mariners squad during Round 16 of the last A-League season, before going on to make seven appearances.

With another six appearances to his name in the current campaign, three as a starter and three as a substitute, the Baulkham Hills junior is hoping he can nail down a regular spot soon.

“I’m still young, it’s a learning experience,” Rose said. 

“I’m just looking to work hard and knuckle down. Hopefully towards the midway of the season I can cement a starting spot. 

“But it depends how our team goes and how I go. I have to justly keep working hard and go from there.”

Currently, Mariners have the youngest squad in the A-League with an average age of 24.42. 

But one player who is the elder statesman of the side, Nick Montgomery, 34, plays in the same defensive midfield position as Rose.

Tony Walmsley the coach of the Central Coast has given Rose the task of putting pressure on the former Sheffield United midfielder’s starting spot.

“We want Liam Rose to push past him,” Walmsley said. 

“The challenge for the kids is to push past the senior players that are there. 

“If you look at Nick Montgomery, the captain, he’s done it all before. He’s leading the pack in the fitness testing, he’s the leader.

“But there will be a time when we want Liam Rose to be pushing ahead from being there or there abouts.”

The Mariners focus has been to play entertaining football this season, although it has left them second from bottom on the A-League ladder. 

Rose believes his side will soon be able to turn their eye catching play into points.

“It’s been a tough season so far,” Rose said. 

“Tony (Walmsley) has come in and it’s his first proper season with us. He’s trying to implement an attacking style of football which we’re doing. 

“And we’re doing it pretty effectively at the moment, but we’re not getting the results at the moment which is a bit unfortunate. 

“But as soon as that turns around and I have every belief in our team that we will, we’ll be sweet.”

Rose is a member of Paul Okon’s Young Socceroos squad. In October he was part of the team that qualified for the AFC Under-19 Championships in Bahrain next year. 

“I played in two of the three games against the Philippines and Japan,” Rose said, on his experience playing at the AFC tournament in Malaysia.

“The aim was to qualify and we did do that. We probably didn’t perform as well as we could have or should have in the game against Japan which we ended up losing. 

“But Paul Okon is a great coach and puts a lot of work into us boys. 

“He doesn’t get much time with us and so it was hard. But he’s a great coach and he knows what style we want to play and he really helps those boys that haven’t been there also to understand that. 

“We’ll work hard and we are looking forward to the qualifiers in October next year.”

Con Stamocostas is an Australian football writer. Click here to see more of his work and check out the latest episode of his A-League Snobcast with co-host Rob Toddler.