The Central Coast Mariners can today confirm that Kalifa Cissé has accepted an off-field role within the Mariners Academy after his contract was terminated by mutual consent.
Cissé will bestow his wealth of knowledge upon the young players of the Mariners Academy as the Club’s new Youth Ambassador and Community Development Officer, which he will commence immediately.
After being officially de-registered as a Central Coast Mariners’ player, the former English Premier League midfielder will coach the Central Coast Mariners Academy under 15’s team during their upcoming NPL season.
The 35-year-old, who has been suffering with Achilles Tendinopathy, has made the collaborative decision with the club to step aside as a player and allow the club’s young defenders to earn more game time in the Hyundai A-League.
“Working with young players is something I’ve always wanted to do, so this is an exciting opportunity for me,” Cissé said. “Not only do I want to use my experience to help the young players within the academy, I also want to learn from the coaches who have experience within the Mariners Academy.
“The Mariners are lucky to have some great young defenders coming through. Originally, I signed here to help the players on the field, but at 35 I have made the difficult decision to step out as a player, I do not want to stand in the way of these good young players – so for me this is a good decision and will provide these young players with more opportunities to play.
“I’ve been battling the injury since about a month after the season started. For my age, it’s a very complicated thing to fight, so it’s time for me to step aside and let a younger player who is 100% fit to step in and give it their all,” Cissé said.