IT’S all very well to talk about culture, character, team spirit and attitude.
IT-S all very well to talk about culture, character, team spirit and attitude.
But invariably you will find yourself put in a position where talk is cheap and you have to walk the walk!
That moment of truth has come plenty of times in the Central Coast Mariners- history and so it did again last weekend in Adelaide.
After a week that tested the Mariners to the very core with adverse publicity about the club and a change in ownership structure that delayed our wages, it was a true test of that famous Mariners- resolve to put all the distractions to one side and perform the way we did against Adelaide to bring home all three points and keep the pressure firmly on the Western Sydney Wanderers at the top of the table.
It proved once again that the culture and character of the players is not just lip service - it-s genuine and plain for all to see.
When you hear the coaching staff talk about a squad full of quality “people” as well as fantastic players, take it as read we are speaking from the heart!
I said the previous week-s 1-0 win over Brisbane was a bigger challenge than anyone could imagine owing to the midweek trip to Japan and off-field issues building by the day.
But I have to say that the Adelaide performance was a whole new level.
The way coach Graham Arnold and the players - particularly captain John Hutchinson and the leadership group - handled the week to ensure the focus remained on staying together and preparing the best we could for fellow finals-bound Adelaide United was first class.
Publicly and behind closed doors it was as good an example of leadership as you will see in professional sport.
While Chairman Peter Turnbull and new owner Mike Charlesworth have successfully sorted through the ownership issues, ‘Arnie- and the staff have been concerned with one thing - keeping the players focused and preparing them as best we can to win football games.
But you still need for the players to keep their heads when it would be easy and understandable for them to drift mentally as a consequence of those off-field distractions.
It-s a credit to the players, their wives and partners the way they have handled themselves under adverse circumstances and pulled out a performance that had the whole country sit up, take notice and generate an increased respect for them.
It has been widely reported this week that Mike Charlesworth has assumed a majority share of the club from Peter Turnbull that will ensure beyond doubt that the Mariners will survive and thrive.
Peter, who will remain as Chairman, passes on the ownership of the club having left a huge legacy - not least illustrated by the Centre of Excellence at Tuggerah.
But the focus now shifts firmly to what happens on the field, starting tomorrow night with the final round of the regular season against Melbourne Heart at Bluetongue Stadium.
Be sure to get along and celebrate what has been another fantastic season by the boys!
Kick off is 5.30pm.
Central Coast Mariners vs. Melbourne Heart - 2012/13 Hyundai A-League Round 27 Saturday 30 March, 2013 Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford Kick-off: 5:30pm Tickets: Please CLICK HERE to purchase tickets to the match. Twitter: Join the match conversation on Twitter. The official hashtags are #CCMvMH & #SuperheroSaturday