Mariners sharpen Blades link in Hong Kong

Central Coast Mariners Executive Chairman Lyall Gorman has returned from a successful international strategy meeting with partners from the Sheffield United football club, held in conjunction with the 10th Hong Kong international soccer 7’s tournament at Happy Valley.

Central Coast Mariners Executive Chairman Lyall Gorman has returned from a successful international strategy meeting with partners from the Sheffield United football club, held in conjunction with the 10th Hong Kong international soccer 7-s tournament at Happy Valley.

The "World of Blades" family involves Hungarian side Ferencváros, the Chinese outfit Chengdu Blades, Sheffield United, as well as the Mariners, and is a continuation of the close on and off-field ties being built between the clubs.

"Communication between Sheffield United chairman Kevin McCabe, the rest of the family and the Mariners has always been exceptionally strong and like-minded, and this meeting has only strengthened the ties between all the clubs involved," said Gorman.

"We remain committed to building the relationship with the "Sheffield United family" and are excited about the initiatives we are continuing to work towards.

"The link the Central Coast Mariners share with Sheffield United is vital in helping to build our own brand here on the Central Coast and in the national arena and it was great to spend two days working with senior representatives from the various clubs at a higher end strategic level from which we can all only benefit."

The meeting explored a raft of potentially exciting options including the scope for one Blades Family international portal, global commercial leveraging opportunities, player and coaching exchange programs, recruitment, down to reciprocal rights for members and sponsor signage and related activations across the "family" venues.

While Gorman was bunkered down in meetings, Chengdu Blades and Australia-s Under 18-s side among others were brushed aside by the might of Glasgow-s Auld Firm, Celtic eventually getting the better of their arch enemy Rangers 1-0 in the final of the tournament.

Mariners membership packages for the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season will soon be released to existing Mariners members, before they are unveiled to the general public.