1 on 1: Caceres
This crafty midfield ace with a Latin touch is sure to be a hit.
Perhaps not as well known to the Bluetongue Stadium gallery as other Central Coast Mariners players just yet, Adrian Caceres has been recruited to the yellow and navy to ensure that the Mariners' strike-force is among the most potent in the Hyundai A-League.
Combining with fellow new recruit Ahmad Elrich to roam the flanks, Caceres offers a fresh opportunity tactically for Football Manager Lawrie McKinna and provides the Mariners faithful with a genuinely exciting attacking outlet that will be at the heart of the Mariners- creative pulse.
Glowing with praise for his new club and team-mates, the Argentinean born 26-year-old is hoping to achieve the Mariners- only missing piece of Hyundai A-League silverware - the Championship trophy, in season four.
www.ccmariners.com.au caught up with the Mariners- new recruit to see what he has to offer in 2008/09 and beyond.
What initially drew you to the Central Coast Mariners?
Getting the opportunity to play regular football and playing a big part in the team. The Mariners have nearly always been amongst the Finals Series and have taken part in two of the three Hyundai A-League Grand Finals. It has been a very successful club so far and it is great to be a part of that.
So, it was the ideal career move for you?
It was definitely the best step I could take in my career, I wanted to be a big part of a team and the Mariners have given me that opportunity.
How are you enjoying your new Central Coast surrounds?
Good! It-s a great lifestyle. Football wise, we are off to a pretty good start as a team, but personally I have settled in well with the boys and with the club. Everyone here has been great which has meant a smooth transition so far.
How does the life of a footballer on the Central Coast compare to that of a footballer in Melbourne?
The first notable difference is the lifestyle, here on the Central Coast it is much less intense and the region has a far more laid back atmosphere, but on the park everything is the same. I am here to do a job and that job is to win games so everything we do at training or in game preparation is the same and the pressure is always there to be successful.
You played in the AFC Champions League for Melbourne, will the Mariners benefit from your experience playing in that competition?
Having played in the competition I am sure I could be of some use to the coaching staff. I am aware of the styles of play as well as different methods to cope with the conditions in Asia, however I am sure that the coaches have done their homework and will be quite ready for the competition when it comes around. It will be just the little things here and there I can help with but nothing too major as I am sure the coaching staff will know what is best for the boys.
You have played one game at Bluetongue Stadium, how did that compare with playing at the Telstra Dome, in particular the fans?
You can-t compare the Melbourne Victory fans to the other fan groups around the Hyundai A-League as they are a much greater number, but to me it-s all about the club you play for. Ultimately, you play for the team and for the crowd that supports your team so any support is great and the loyal Central Coast fans certainly give you a lift when you walk out on tho the pitch.
How do you think you have fit into the team environment so far?
I think it has been great so far. The players are a great bunch of lads, which makes it easy. Getting used to the style of play of a new team always takes time and I suppose I can-t expect to gel into a team straight away - I am still getting to know the way the Mariners play and the coaching staff are still getting to know the way I play and how to get the best out of me. Hopefully soon we can get to the level where the club can bring the best out in me and I can perform to my best for them.
What would you label your greatest football achievement to date?
It would definitely have to be winning the 2007 Hyundai A-League Grand Final with Melbourne Victory - with a score line of 6-0, it was certainly a big achievement. To be Premiers as well as win the Championship was fantastic and was probably the best time of my life so far. I really hope I can re-produce that here with the Central Coast.
Do you think you can help the Mariners get their hands on the Hyundai A-League championship trophy this season?
With the team we have this season, I-m sure we have a good chance of bringing home the Championship trophy. That-s essentially why I came here; I wouldn-t have come if I didn-t think that the Mariners could win it. The recruiting for this season has been great, you only have to look at the likes of Dylan Macallister and the other signings we have this year to realise we have the quality to go all the way, we just need to start winning games consistently. You have played a bit overseas and have come back to the Hyundai A-League, do you feel settled in this competition, or do you still have the desire to achieve more overseas?
If somebody came knocking with a good contract in a good league I am sure any player in Australia would take it, but given the great situation we now have in Australia, I certainly wouldn-t jump in at just any contract in any league. I have been very happy with the Hyundai A-League and where it is standing at the moment and I-m very happy to stay in Australia and help the Hyundai A-League and the Central Coast Mariners to grow.