Mariners complete landmark Academy tour to New Caledonia

The Central Coast Mariners have completed a Hyundai A-League first, with the Mariners Academy squad returning from a successful development tour to New Caledonia.

The Central Coast Mariners have completed a Hyundai A-League first, with the Mariners Academy squad returning from a successful development tour to New Caledonia.

The Mariners, currently the only club in the country to boast such an academy, took advantage of the school holiday break in club football to take 16 players, to experience an overseas training environment.

Hosted by the New Caledonian Football Association, the tour was based in Noumea and included a trip to the Northern town of Kone, a four-hour bus ride, made worthwhile by the quality of opposition and magnificent facilities.

Under the coaching of Louis Chaperon and Steve Eagleton, both year 1 Mariners Academy Staff the boys from both the Central Coast and the Central Coast Mariners partner clubs Spirit FC and Northern Tigers were put through their paces in several training sessions and a series of un-official matches against National representative squads.

NYL Head Coach and Development Manager Tony Walmsley was also in attendance to benchmark the Academy, but also to conduct a series of clinics and talks with local players and coaches.

"This type of tour is great for a number of reasons. We learn more about kids and their character in a week on tour, than through a whole term at the Academy and if performance growth is one of the measures the final match performance was significant," said Walmsley.

"The players have been exposed to more training, higher levels of discipline and a higher calibre of athlete than is common to them at club level. This gives us an insight in to their character, and also helps us identify the one-s who can cope with increased demands.

"On another level, we are developing closer ties with the NCFA. Earlier this year CCM hosted two New Caledonian trialists and through NCFA Technical Director, Didier Chamberon and his Youth Coach Nicholas Bach, we have been able to further develop our International relations.

"There is some outstanding young talent in New Caledonia and over time I am sure we will have enhanced opportunities to be able to identify and nurture players through this relationship," said Walmsley.

Results Game 1 National Select U14 0 Central Coast Mariners 1 (Kinaley) National Select U15 5 Central Coast Mariners 1 (Lenz) National Select U15 1 Central Coast Mariners 0

Squad Ryan Mattheson, Jean-Luc Pilot, Johnson Song, Anthony Apanian, Anthony Jelenkerian, Dylan Boardman, Dylan Holz, Harrison Connery, James Scott, Braedon Robbins, Michael Gaitatzis, Alex Massaoli, Todd Edwards, Nicholas Lenz, David Kinaley, Jai McNamara

Coaches Louis Chaperon, Steve Eagleton Physio Desli Curran

The Central Coast Mariners Hyundai A-League squad continues its pre-season campaign this Saturday, 25 July when they take on Wellington Phoenix at Apex Oval, Dubbo. General Admission tickets are $10 for Adults and $5 for Child/Concession. Kick-off is at 6pm.

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