After his first season in Yellow & Navy, 19-year-old defender Kye Rowles says he couldn’t feel more at home on the Central Coast. This Saturday, Rowles will face off against his former club, Brisbane Roar for the first time in his career.
Born on the N.S.W.’s South Coast, Rowles started his professional football career with John Aloisi’s Brisbane Roar where he made his Hyundai A-League debut and competed in the AFC Champions League.
Arriving on the Central Coast this pre-season, Rowles says that he feels right at home thanks to the tight knit playing group and Mariners’ community.
“I’ve loved every minute of my time here on the Coast,” Rowles said. “Even when I was injured, the culture of the club and the boys here, the staff and the fans, it feels so tight and I couldn’t ask for a better place to be,” Rowles said.
Rowles’ time at the Mariners kicked-off in promising fashion, starting in most of the club’s pre-season fixtures. However, the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup Representative was struck down after hyper-extending his knee at the end of pre-season against Wellington at Pluim Park which forced him to wait until round seven to make his Mariners’ debut.
After stringing a run of positive performances together, Rowles was then sidelined with a foot injury which he has since recovered from to start against Sydney FC. Despite losing at the death, Rowles said there were plenty of positives the Mariners can take from Saturday’s performance.
“It feels great to be out there kicking it with the boys again,” Rowles said. “It’s been a long time between games for me so I’m just excited to be out there again.
“Sydney FC are the Champions and they are the Champions for a reason. To get through 90 minutes against them felt good and definitely breeds confidence for myself to know that I can compete with the best teams in the country.
“Especially the way the game was unfolding, we were pushing for the winner after equalising and it was really disappointing in the end to lose. But there are a lot of positives we can take from it, especially in the second half because the boys rallied hard and we definitely deserved more,” Rowles said.
After missing the Mariners’ first two matches against Brisbane, Rowles can’t wait to take on his former teammates at Suncorp Stadium.
“I can’t wait to verse the old club,” Rowles said. “Hopefully I can do my best and I’ll definitely give it my all.
“For me, when the draw came out the games against Brisbane were the most eye-catching. Hopefully we can get the win. I might message a few of the boys from Brisbane as we get closer and I’m sure there will be a few little words exchanged on the pitch,” Rowles said.
With three games to go, Rowles says the Mariners are determined to finish strong and repay the faith of the fans.
“This is the most important time of the season,” Rowles said. “We all want to prove that we can hold our own in the league and show our worth. Hopefully I can play the rest of the games this season and show to not only myself but everyone else that I am valuable to the Mariners.
“We definitely deserved more this season, so do the fans. These next three games are for the fans and to repay their faith. Hopefully we can end on a high and have a few positives going into next season.
“We need as much support as we can get – it helps massively. Against Sydney they really helped us home in the last 30 minutes and it definitely helped. If we can get that again in our last home game that would be amazing,” Rowles said.
Saturday, 31 March 2018
Hyundai A-League Round 25
Match: Brisbane Roar vs. Central Coast Mariners
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 5:35pm (AEDT)
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS AUSTRALIA 501
Hash-tag: Join the match conversation using #BRIvCCM & #CCMFC