Mariners Academy launched for elite young players

The Central Coast Mariners' one of a kind youth development pathways and talent identification structures have today been formalised with the launch of the Mariners Academy – a Hyundai A-League first for elite young players.

The Central Coast Mariners- one of a kind youth development pathways and talent identification structures have today been formalised with the launch of the Mariners Academy - a Hyundai A-League first for elite young players.

The Mariners Academy will provide a straight-line pathway for aspirant footballers from as young as 8-years-old through to the recently introduced National Youth League and ultimately to the premier level of domestic football in Australia - the Hyundai A-League.

The Mariners Academy will operate out of five centres set amongst the Central Coast and its surrounding regions - Jubilee Park at Long Jetty, Holland Park at Glenhaven, Epping Boys High, Mills Park at Asquith and Hornsby-s Barker College.

At each of these centres, players will receive expert instruction from Mariners Academy coaches with an emphasis on providing an unparalleled professional environment for youngsters to develop their game and grow as players and people.

Each centre will accommodate groups of 16 players at Under 9-s, Under 10-s, Under 11-s, Under 12-s, Under 13-s and Under 14-s age levels, with each group training twice weekly over 12 weeks pre and post Christmas, totaling 32 hours of elite coaching.

In addition to the aforementioned, each player will receive a Mariners branded training kit for the duration of their stay at the Mariners Academy, a Mariners cap, boot bag, drink bottle and detailed feedback report from Mariners Academy coaches at the conclusion of the course.

The Mariners Academy is designed for players to progress through each restricted age level year after year in order to have completed an intense and unique football experience and philosophy with the Mariners, so to be best equipped to progress to the National Youth League and Hyundai A-League in future years.

"The Mariners Academy is a cornerstone element of our ambition to become the centre of excellence for football in Australia," said Mariners Executive Chairman Lyall Gorman.

"Through the Hyundai A-League, we firstly uncovered local talents in Damien Brown, Andrew Clark, Bradley Porter, Andrew Redmayne and Matt Simon amongst others - many of which have since gone on to represent their country at youth and senior levels.

"The Mariners Academy is an extension of these already existing pathways and links aspirant footballers on the Central Coast and its surrounding regions to the very top level of Australian football."

The Mariners Academy will promote an emphasis on discipline, punctuality and preparedness, the cornerstones of a professional football career.

Academy coaches will aim to improve players- technical ability, understanding of the game and provide the correct activities, practices and feedback to promote learning.

The inaugural Mariners Academy will kick off on Sunday, 19 October to coincide with the Mariners- Hyundai A-League 2008/09, Round 8 match at Bluetongue Stadium against the Wellington Phoenix, which all Mariners Academy participants will attend free of charge.

After a short hiatus over Christmas, the Mariners Academy will continue until Sunday, 25 January, when Mariners Academy participants will again receive free admission to a Mariners Hyundai A-League 2008/09 fixture - at Bluetongue Stadium against Adelaide United, after taking part in a Mariners Academy Gala Day at Pluim Park.

Selected Mariners Academy graduates will soon compete in domestic and international competitions and an equivalent program for women is currently being developed following the introduction of the Westfield W-League.

"The guarantee of the Mariners Academy is that we will always be working to ensure that the environment we create is the right one for players to develop their game and to grow as positive young people," said Mariners Academy Coaching & Development Manager Tony Walmsley.

"Players can express themselves without fear of mistakes, but we need them to compete, show desire and take pride in their performance.

"The Mariners Academy will set the benchmark in terms of professional organisation with staff committed to developing players and passionate about working for the Mariners."

The cost of one season at the Mariners Academy is $725, with application forms available for download HERE.

Mariners Memberships for the Hyundai A-League 2008/09 season are now on sale at