One of the Yellow and Navy’s favourite sons, midfielder John Hutchinson, returned to the Mariners this week following a four-month loan stint with Chengdu Blades in the Chinese Super League.
One of the Yellow and Navy-s favourite sons, midfielder John Hutchinson, returned to the Mariners this week following a four-month loan stint with Chengdu Blades in the Chinese Super League.
Delighted to be back training on the Bluetongue Stadium surface, Hutchinson took five to chat with ccmariners.com.au before the team departed Gosford for Wellington for this Friday-s round 5 Hyundai A-League clash with the Phoenix…
Hutch, welcome back! How did you find your time in Chengdu?
Yeah it was good! Playing wise the standard-s pretty good. I know a lot of people put the Chinese league down but when you-re over there the top four or five teams are definitely A-League quality. They-ve got some good players over there, obviously the wages that they pay some of the players are out of this world, and it worked very good, I did enjoy it. Living wise, let-s just say it-s China, China-s China…it-s no Central Coast and I-m glad to be home back on the Coast and back at the Mariners.
Have you managed to follow the Mariners- start to the 2011/12 season?
I watched every game on the net, I read every article I could possibly read, I spoke to the staff and the players. Although I was over at Chengdu Blades playing I was still a Mariners player and I was watching every step. I tried to watch as much as I could during the pre-season and read up on it, too. I am pretty impressed with the start we-ve had. I know it-s been a bit tough but I know we-ve got the quality in this team to go a lot further than we-ve playing so far.
How have you found your return to training?
I think I-ve just slipped straight back into it. I was looking forward to coming to training today. I had a few butterflies in the stomach coming to see the boys again. I-ve actually missed it a lot, I-ve missed the boys, I-ve missed the staff, and the Central Coast as a place. It-s nothing against China, it-s a great place, but it-s no Central Coast. But I do enjoy being here at the Mariners, it-s a great team, great boys, training was great today and I think we-ll go over to Wellington and get the three points.
And you-ve played some international matches for Malta while you-ve been on loan. Does the fire still burn to play international football?
[Laughs] Yeah, for one game I had to go from China to Malta, then to Latvia - we had to go the long way! Once I lose the drive and the will to win football games, then I-ll hang up my boots. I know when I play for Malta I still want to win games, and we did well in some games. We lost 3-1 to Croatia, lost to Greece, drew with Georgia, and lost to Latvia. We-re a small nation and I was disappointed to see the coach get sacked, but that-s football.
Arnold on Hutch: “It-s great to have him back, he-s a leader, he-s a clubman, and he-s part of the culture of this club. And, he-s largely responsible for the environment that this club-s got, and the culture within the team. He looks super fit - we won-t take him to Wellington this week because he only got back yesterday (Tuesday). We-ll let him reacquaint with his family and he-ll be back in on Monday ready to go.”