Central Coast Mariners Foxtel National Youth League

The Central Coast Mariners have today confirmed its Foxtel National Youth League squad and fixtures for the upcoming season that will be led by Head Coach, Ben Cahn.

Cahn, who is a Hyundai A-League Assistant to Paul Okon as well as the club’s Foxtel National Youth League Head Coach commenced training with his team two weeks ago in preparation for the 2016/17 season.

For the first season ever, Foxtel National Youth League Players have put pen-to-paper on 12-month Youth Development Agreements that will see them play through the FNYL season followed by the Mariners Academy’s FNSW NPL 2 season.

Like last season, the 10 clubs have been divided into two conferences; Conference A (Adelaide United, Brisbane Roar FC, Melbourne City FC, Melbourne Victory and Perth Glory) and Conference B (Central Coast Mariners, FFA Centre of Excellence, Newcastle Jets, Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers FC). Within each conference, the teams will play each other twice over 10 rounds (4 home / 4 away – 8 matches and 2 byes per team).

The Central Coast Mariners will kick off their Foxtel National Youth League campaign in Canberra the day after our Hyundai A-League match in the nation’s capital (Sunday 13 November) against the FFA Centre of Excellence at 10:30am (Australian Institute of Sport).

Cahn is confident with the group of players that he has selected heading into the season and spoke highly of Football Federation Australia’s decision to implement 12 month agreements.

“Throughout the trial process we have been able to look at players based in NSW as well as players who travelled from interstate,” Cahn said. “We had a broad range of players to look at and now the squad is finalised I’m very happy and have a good feeling about the quality and depth of the squad.

“To have players contracted for 12 months is a really good decision by the FFA, it means that if players miss a chance through injury or whatever reason during that eight-week competition they can still get their opportunity through the academy.

Cahn said that the 2016 NSW PS4 NPL2 season provided the perfect platform to be able to assess players with a longer term view of recruitment for the FNYL season and that the number one goal of the FNYL season is to prepare players for Hyundai A-League football.

“There are players from our academy that are in the FNYL squad and towards the end of last season we brought players in to trial with a view to potentially bring them into the FNYL squad,” Cahn said.

“Ultimately the biggest priority is to develop players to a level that they are able to help the first team when called upon or good enough to go on and earn a contract in the coming years.

“The big thing is making sure we have a stream of players ready to play A-League football but we also want them to learn how to become winners.

“When you look at the likes of Ryan Peterson & Trent Buhagiar’s inclusion in the first team this season it sends a strong message that the Mariners are eager to give good young players a chance,” Cahn said.

Cahn also spoke about the importance of local talent with the inclusion of six Central Coast juniors in his squad as well as the introduction of two players from the North Shore Mariners Academy.

“Having local talent is massively important,” Cahn said. “It’s always good to have local players in the first team as well because local players understand the environment and what it means to the fans and other young players coming through.

“If you look through the best football clubs in history they’ve always had a core of local players and that’s no different in the youth league and it’s great that we’ve got a good number of Central Coast boys who will be competing with boys from around the country,” Cahn said.

Central Coast Mariners FNYL squad: Jordon BENNETT, Cooper BUSWELL, Shelford DAIS, James ENTICKNAP, Brenton FOX, Peter KEKERIS, Matthew LEE, Tom LYONS, Reece PAPADIMITRIOS, Adam PEARCE (GK), Ryan PETERSON, Yerasimakis PETRATOS, Sean PRATT, Mortaza SAFDARI, Zac SFILIGOI, Gianni STENSNESS, Duncan STEWART, Lachlan WALES, Steve WHYTE

CLICK HERE to access to full Foxtel National Youth League 2016/17 draw

Central Coast Mariners FNYL home games:

Foxtel National Youth League – Round 3
Central Coast Mariners vs. Newcastle Jets
Saturday, 26 November 2016
Venue: Central Coast Mariners Centre of Excellence, Tuggerah 
kick-off: 10:30am (AEDT)

Foxtel National Youth League – Round 6
Central Coast Mariners vs. FFA Centre of Excellence
Saturday, 17 December 2016
Venue: Central Coast Mariners Centre of Excellence, Tuggerah 
kick-off: 10:30am (AEDT)

Foxtel National Youth League – Round 8
Central Coast Mariners vs. Western Sydney Wanderers
Saturday, 7 January 2017
Venue: Central Coast Mariners Centre of Excellence, Tuggerah 
kick-off: 4:00pm (AEDT)

Foxtel National Youth League – Round 10
Central Coast Mariners vs. Sydney FC
Saturday, 21 January 2017
Venue: Central Coast Mariners Centre of Excellence, Tuggerah 
kick-off: 4:00pm (AEDT)