Mariners Muck In

The Central Coast Mariners have today swapped football boots and balls for paintbrushes as they went to work on their new player’s lounge at the team’s training base at Tuggerah.

The Central Coast Mariners have today swapped football boots and balls for paintbrushes as they went to work on their new player-s lounge at the team-s training base at Tuggerah.

The team has worked together to put their own stamp on the facility, which, together with the team-s two training fields, forms part of the first stage of the planned $40-million “Mariners at Tuggerah” development.

Mariners- skipper Alex Wilkinson showed his leadership skills off the field by marshalling his troops around the rollers, paintbrushes and masking tape, and says the club has come a long way in five years.

"With us being at our new complex it is great that we have a couple of fields that are our own, and also a place that the boys can come and relax between sessions," said Wilkinson.

The Mariners have become the first Hyundai A-League club to be based at a training ground they have complete, independent access to, and it is hoped once finished, the entire complex which is situated on 12-hectares of land, will become one of the finest jewels in the country-s sporting crown.

"Over the last five years we have trained at 15 pitches all over the Coast but now to have the one place where we can leave our stuff on a day to day basis and base ourselves here as a home is huge," Wilkinson said.

And while the work was a fun team bonding exercise, Wilkinson is glad it was a one off.

"It is pretty hard work. I think the boys have actually underestimated how much hard work it is but we have nearly got the undercoat on and ready to put the main coat on," Wilkinson said.

Once complete, the complex is expected to form an integral part of Australia-s bid for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, as it is hoped one of the tournament-s 32 competing nations would be based at Tuggerah, should the result of the announcement from FIFA on December 2 proves favourable.