Hutchinson on board for three more

Foundation Mariner John Hutchinson has taken a major step to becoming a one-club man in the Hyundai A-League, by agreeing to terms with the Central Coast for a further three seasons.

Foundation Mariner John Hutchinson has taken a major step to becoming a one-club man in the Hyundai A-League, by agreeing to terms with the Central Coast for a further three seasons.

The deal will keep the Maltese international at Bluetongue Stadium until at least the end of the 2012/13 Hyundai A-League, which would be Hutchinson-s eighth season in Yellow and Navy.

"In the five seasons since the A-League-s inception, John has been a cornerstone of the Mariners- squad," said Mariners Executive Chairman Lyall Gorman.

"On and off the field, John has been a wonderful ambassador for the club and the community, and we are delighted to have him on board for the next three seasons."

Hutchinson burst on to the scene as a fresh faced 17-year-old with his local club, the Gippsland Falcons in the old NSL, and went on to play 89 matches for the club, which was renamed as Eastern Pride, before moving across the border to join Northern Spirit in 2001, and in turn first crossing paths with Lawrie McKinna, when the current Mariners- boss took over at the Spirit a year later.

Hutchinson was one of McKinna-s first signings when plans for the inaugural Hyundai A-League got underway, and recently became the second player in the club-s history to reach 100 competitive appearances, in the second round match against Newcastle Jets at Bluetongue Stadium.

Capped four times for the Maltese National side, including in FIFA World Cup qualifiers against international powerhouses Sweden and Portugal, Hutchinson-s signature is a coveted prize for McKinna.

"Hutch was at Spirit when I took over and we-ve been with each other for seven years now. Playing for Malta has added a bit extra to his game and he-s been brilliant for us this year.

"It-s a good reward and nothing that isn-t deserved.

"We-ve always had a good nucleus of a squad with the likes of Wilko, Hutch, Danny, and it-s important that we keep that for the future while still bringing new faces in," said Football Manager Lawrie McKinna.

"It-s a good time in my career to get a three year deal," said Hutchinson.

"Hopefully I can settle down and play football for the Mariners, hopefully for the next five years.

"We-re settled here, it-s a beautiful area, the football club is progressing, and hopefully it can become the biggest club in the A-League."

The 29 year old admits there is unfinished business at the club, after the pain of losses in the Grand Finals of the first and third seasons.

"We had league success but the two Grand Finals we lost stick in the back of your mind, so if we could win one before I retire it-d be a great feeling," said Hutchinson.

With plans for the Mariners- at Tuggerah Centre of Excellence complex gathering momentum, Hutchinson says its an exciting time to be at the club.

"Our training grounds at the moment aren-t up to scratch but there will be new training grounds next year. They have a forward plan and big things for the club.

"I believe it-s going to happen, and hopefully we-re at our new training facility," said Hutchinson.

The Mariners- next home match of the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season will be against Brisbane Roar on Saturday, 19 December. Kick-off is at 6:00pm. Tickets are available online here or by phoning 132 849.

Mariners Four Match Christmas Packs are available online by clicking here