Nick Montgomery & Sergio Raimundo's Foxtel Y-League side finished as runners up in Conference B of the Foxtel Y-League in 2019/20, pushing eventual Champions Sydney FC all the way through the eight game campaign before the Sky Blues pulled away at the top.
With the season wrapped up, CCMariners.com.au sat down with Monty to find out more about his favourite games, moments and goals from across the season.
"First off, all of us here would like to congratulate Sydney for their achievement in winning the competition this season. It was great competing with them across the season, and they pulled away when it mattered and then delivered in the Grand Final."
“Competing against the other Hyundai A-League clubs allowed us to benchmark our players relative to all the other clubs. To see how much these boys have developed in the last six months has been really rewarding as a coach, and although frustrating it was a great achievement to come second to Sydney FC who won the final and proved they are the best in the competition, and four of those Sydney boys were on the pitch on Sunday night in the A-League game.”
“There’s big differences in the player pool we can recruit from, but we showed that with a Coast based team and a few recruits from interstate and a lot of hard work we can compete with the best and I’m very proud of the group and what we achieved as a whole.
“Sergio and I really enjoyed the campaign, it was great for both of us and we’re looking forward now to the NPL season as we turn our attentions to that.
“It’s rewarding to see [the development] for me and my assistant coach Sergio who has a track record of developing top class players during his time at Benfica, amongst other clubs in Europe’s elite competitions.”
Favourite Game | Western Sydney Wanderers 0 def. by Central Coast Mariners 5 (A)
"This is a game that really stood out to me, as to go to Western Sydney and win 5-0 against a club renowned for having one of the top Academy set ups, with strong players at youth level and scholarship players on the park as well was so rewarding. To keep a clean sheet is always pleasing, but the performance as a whole on the day was just a complete one from start to finish."
TOP 5 GOALS |
1. Kyle Johnson | Round 6 v Canberra United (H)
Monty: "This one from Kyle was an alternative corner that we had been working on, the strike was clean and precise and it finished the game off."
2. Alou Kuol | Round 3 v Western Sydney (A)
Monty: "This one had some great build-up play in an important game, and it was a quality strike as he let the ball run across his body before finishing low and hard across the keeper."
3. Mikey Katsoulis | Round 1 v Canberra United (A)
Monty: "Mikey’s goal in round one was a combination we had been working on in training, it was a well-timed run behind the back four and a sweet strike to finish it off."
4. Dan Hall | Round 7 v Sydney FC (A)
Monty: "Dan’s goal against Sydney was pleasing for me, as for a centre back he gets into the opposition area a lot and after some near misses during the season it was a goal he deserved."
5. Jordan Smylie | Round 4 v Newcastle Jets (H)
Monty: "This one from Jordan was important, we should have scored a bunch if it wasn’t for the Jets having Lewis Italiano in goals making some excellent stops. It would have been tough if we took nothing from this game, but Jordan’s impact off the bench was positive and he performed what we had asked him to do!"
Recap by Round |
Round 1 | Canberra United 1 (Host 43’) def. by Central Coast Mariners 3 (Katsoulis 10’, McCarthy 44’, Johnson 90+5’)
Round 2 | Central Coast Mariners 3 (Kuol 20’, 35’, Roberts 90+2’) drew. Sydney FC 3 (Swibel 10’, Tilio 58’, 83’)
Round 3 | Western Sydney Wanderers 0 def. by Central Coast Mariners 5 (Kuol 37’, 46’, Ruiz-Diaz 58’, McCarthy 74’, Katsoulis 90+3’)
Round 4 | Central Coast Mariners 2 (Kuol 27’, Smylie 73’) drew. Newcastle Jets 2 (Petratos 41’, Mauragis 49’)
Round 6 | Central Coast Mariners 2 (McCarthy 20’, Johnson 79’) def. Canberra United 0
Round 7 | Sydney FC 5 (Ivanovic 11’, 34’, 50’, Flottman 79’, Swibel 83’) def. Central Coast Mariners 3 (Majok 9’, Kuol 23’, Hall 45’)
Round 8 | Central Coast Mariners 1 (Tongyik 5’) def. Western Sydney Wanderers 0
Round 9 | Newcastle Jets 2 (Simmons 6’, Petratos 59’) def. Central Coast Mariners 1 (Majok 42’)
Looking ahead to NPL |
The boys have ticked over seamlessly from Foxtel Y-League to National Premier Leagues mode as they approach NPL2 kick-off on the 7th March.
Monty’s side beat Broadmeadow Magic 8-4 last weekend with Alou Kuol and Damian Tsekenis both netting three times, before a big win over the Newcastle Jets on Tuesday night at Pluim Park. Kuol starred again as he scored four goals in a 5-1 win, and the boys will wrap up pre-season preparations when they take on Western Sydney Wanderers this weekend.