Centre of Excellence is GO!

The Central Coast Mariners are celebrating a double victory today, with the club being given the green light to become the sole owner of a 12ha site at Tuggerah, paving the way for the construction of its new, state of the art Centre of Excellence complex.

The Central Coast Mariners are celebrating a double victory today, with the club being given the green light to become the sole owner of a 12 hectare site at Tuggerah, paving the way for the construction of its new, state of the art Centre of Excellence complex.

At an extraordinary General Meeting of over 100 members of the Wyong RSL Club, it was unanimously agreed to sell the entire assets of the “Club Tuggerah” site to the Mariners. Therefore, the Central Coast will own 100% of the land and its developments, which will become the "Mariners at Tuggerah" Licensed Club, and the Mariners- Centre of Excellence.

In return, the Mariners have agreed to a Lease and Management Agreement with Wyong RSL, which will see the licensed club leased back to the RSL.

"We thank the members of Wyong RSL club for having the vision to understand the importance of this development, both for the future of their licensed premises on the site, but also for Football on the Central Coast, and for the future of the community as a whole," said Mariners Trust chairman Peter Turnbull.

"It is felt a facility such as this will put the Mariners at the forefront of attracting the best talent across Australia, and also internationally. The goal is for the Mariners to become the obvious first "Club of Choice" for any talented footballer."

This outcome now means the Mariners will be a property owner, bringing with that title significant asset backing, and most importantly, will enjoy a more diversified range of income streams, outside of the club-s current core football activities.

Wyong RSL club-s agreement to sell the land to the Central Coast Mariners comes on the back of a Wyong Shire Council Development Application approval just over a week ago, the application also passed unanimously at the Council meeting.

"Comments from the floor by the Councillors included "The Mariners are worthy of our support, they are the glue that sticks our community together". The overwhelming support shown by the councillors and the staff of Wyong Shire Council has been quite humbling in their desire to see this world class facility in the region," said Turnbull.

These two outcomes mean the Mariners- can look forward to settlement in late January, with work on the main priority, two world-class training pitches for the Hyundai A-League side to begin soon after.

Significant refurbishment of the existing "Club Tuggerah" is also high on the list, with stage one of the "Centre of Excellence", a six storey office block and sports science, pool and gymnasium facilities is scheduled to begin in mid-2010.

Once complete, the development will be the pre-eminent sporting facility of its kind in Australia, and reaffirm the Mariners- commitment to the Central Coast, and development of the game in the region through Academy programmes, a stronger link with Central Coast Football and by providing the perfect base for either the Qantas Socceroos or a visiting international team, should Australia be successful in winning the right to host either the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cups.

The development will feature:

- Seven full sized pitches, including a 3,000-seat boutique stadium to be the home of the Central Coast Mariners National Youth League and Westfield W-League teams - 10 Multi purpose courts - A 120-room Hotel and Accommodation block - A six storey Office Block - Sports Science offices, gymnasium, pool and hydrotherapy facilities - A licensed club with a 400-person capacity function centre

"It is envisaged that this facility will also become a focal point for Football Federation Australia in its bid to host the 2018 or 2022 World Cups, by showing FIFA we have training facilities available as well as playing stadiums.

"On an ongoing basis, we can see the Centre not only as our base, but also the base for visiting opponents form across Australia and New Zealand. We also expect the facility to be very popular for international club teams to use as a base for pre-season training camps. All these uses will prove positive for the entire region's economy," said Turnbull.