Mariners add to coaching class

Lawrie McKinna’s already well credentialed coaching staff has received a further boost today, with news National Youth League mentor Tony Walmsley has been appointed to an assistant coach role with the Central Coast Mariners first team.

Lawrie McKinna-s already well credentialed coaching staff has received a further boost today, with news National Youth League mentor Tony Walmsley has been appointed to an assistant coach role with the Central Coast Mariners first team.

Walmsley will work alongside Socceroos legend and current assistant coach Alex Tobin, as well as goalkeeping coach and foundation Mariner John Crawley, restoring McKinna-s team to its former quota of four.

"Ever since Tony joined us as the Coaching and Development manager of our Academy, he has continued to prove to us his outstanding ability as a coach, and this appointment is a just reward for someone who has worked tirelessly in building such a strong backbone for the club-s future," said Mariners Executive Chairman Lyall Gorman.

Walmsley has been instrumental in helping to grow the Mariners Academy, the only one of its type within the Hyundai A-League, and has an enviable record in developing players for a considerable period of time, having held senior coaching roles within various State Federations and State Institutes, as well as heading English Premier League giant Manchester United-s Australian based academy.

"The Mariners have been so successful in the past with a three-pronged coaching team, and we feel Tony is the right man to come in and complement the excellent work already being carried out by Lawrie and Alex," said Gorman.

While Walmsley will work closely with McKinna, Tobin and the first team, his role as head coach of the National Youth League side will continue, as it aims its radar at glory in the second season of the Nationwide Under 20-s competition.

This dual role is a strategic move by the club to ensure the top of the development pathway fits seamlessly into the first team structure, with Walmsley keen to see more young players taking the step up to full time professional football.

"Tony fits in very well at training, he brings a lot of good ideas with him, and all the boys think very highly of him as a coach," said Mariners Football Manager Lawrie McKinna.

"He-s got a good history in the game and is good to have around the place. Obviously the more football brains that come together can only benefit what we are doing on the park, and we-ve proven that so far."

Walmsley himself is excited about the challenges that lie ahead, and is confident he can succeed in his dual role.

"Developing players is something I-ve always been very passionate about, and alongside Damien Brown I-ll be able to continue doing that with the NYL squad. I-ve enjoyed my time so far with the Youth League players, and bringing together a different mix to create a successful program is very rewarding.

"Obviously just like players, coaches have aspirations and I-m no different. I-ve worked hard to get where I am, and I-m really excited about getting the chance to further a life-long education in the game working with Alex and Lawrie. It-s an absolute privilege.

"They have been brilliant with me so far in welcoming me into their team, and with a professional support team of John Crawley and Andrew Clark - who are also brilliant coaches in their own field - the opportunities which lie ahead are endless.

"I-m confident I can add value, and I just want to get stuck in now, work hard and support Lawrie and the team as we strive to achieve even more success for the club in the Hyundai A-League and in Asia," Walmsley said.

The Mariners next home match of the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season will be against North Queensland Fury on Sunday, 11 October. Kick-off is at 3:00pm. Tickets for this match are available online here or by phoning 132 849.

Mariners Memberships for the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season are now available online by clicking here or by phoning 1300 767 442.