One of the fresh faces to arrive for Central Coast Mariners’ pre-season is Brice Johnson, who joins the coaching staff and has every intention of pushing the players to their limits in preparation for Hyundai A-League v11.
Johnson is a Central Coast local who has been given the big responsibility of getting the Yellow & Navy in shape this season and the former Sydney Roosters (NRL), Newcastle Knights (NRL) and most recently Hull Kingston Rovers (English Super League) employee started his career locally.
“My career actually started IN the Coast with the Erina Eagles Rugby League Club where I approached them to do sprint work and ended up taking on strength and conditioning,” Johnson said.
Since kicking off what is now his career as a hobby, the former sprinter couldn’t be prouder to work alongside Tony Walmsley and the Mariners.
“When I met the [Mariners] players I told them that words can’t describe how pumped I am. I’m very proud because this is my local area and this is the only club that both my wife and I support together so it will be a challenge to work with a team that I really care about,” Johnson said.
Johnson’s recruitment has been somewhat of a reunion, having worked with Andrew Clark specifically on sprint work in the early days of the Mariners.
After just a week of pre-season, Johnson said that he was surprised how fit the players returned from the off-season and underlined the challenges of playing an entertaining brand of football.
“I am really excited about the type of football Tony wants to play. We want to be entertaining, innovative and exciting on the pitch but under that sits a lot of hard work and we can’t get away from that.
Walmsley expressed his excitement at working with Johnson who will be crucial to sustaining the entertaining brand of football.
“Brice is a local and has extensive experience in elite sport, his enthusiasm is infectious and he is a demanding task master,” Walmsley said. “He's an exciting addition to the team as he's someone the players will respond to.
“This was a critical appointment that will impact significantly on our performance.
“Pre-season will be a nightmare for all the right reasons.
“With the intent to play an exciting and high tempo game, the players need to be physically challenged and Brice is ready to go.”