Mariners Members and fans can arrive at Gosford’s Central Coast Stadium on Sunday expecting to see the newest addition to the club’s playing stocks make his Hyundai A-League bow.
On the eve of the yellow and navy’s clash with sixth-placed Melbourne City on the banks of the Brisbane Water, the Mariners can confirm that a deal with attacking utility Travis Major has been finalised through to the completion of the current campaign.
Major, 24, featured for Central Coast against Newcastle Jets in Mudgee in pre-season. Indeed, the former Blacktown City FC man put in an accomplished display upfront in September, showing he has the skills, power and presence to trouble Hyundai A-League defences.
Unfortunately, Major suffered a groin injury following the Mudgee match. Central Coast Mariners have since helped nurse Major back to full fitness, and will now give the man who has waited some time to secure a contract in Australia’s top flight his chance to shine.
Mariners boss Phil Moss confirmed on Saturday that Major, who scored an impressive 24 goals in all competitions for NSW NPL 1 winners Blacktown in 2014, is set to play a part – whether from the outset or off the bench – against John van’t Schip’s side.
“I probably would have signed Travis in pre-season after his performance in Mudgee,” Moss said. “But we knew he had a slight injury and that he had just come off a long season with Blacktown.”
“So we took the opportunity to help him with his rehab, and in training over the past few weeks he’s shown that he’s deserving of a chance.
“He has been consistently among the goals in the National Premier League with Blacktown and been tracked by a number of Hyundai A-League clubs over the past few years.
"Indeed, Travis is another example of the great job Blacktown City & Head Coach Mark Crittenden is doing developing players. We've had Jacob Poscoliero & Zac Cairncross come from Blacktown & not only have they been very understanding but also very supportive of their players going to a higher level. That deserves due recognition.
“I really believe in Travis. He’s a very strong person mentally, and definitely gives us a physical presence. He has a real eye for goal and can score with both feet,” he said.
Major is the first player to arrive at the club in the January transfer window, however Mariners mentor Moss said business is far from finished.
“We’re likely to add one, perhaps two new players to the squad this month,” he said. “But signing Travis is a great start. He’s hungry, he’s a winner, and he has something to prove.”
Major said he is grateful to the Mariners for giving him his first crack at the Hyundai A-League level, and is desperate to make the most of his initial five-month pro deal.
“It’s a really good opportunity and I am really thankful to ‘Mossy’ [Moss] and the whole coaching staff for giving me this great chance,” Major said. “I just want to take it with both hands now.”
Describing himself as ‘physical’, ‘direct’, and with ‘an eye for goal’, Major knows that his performance in Mudgee went some way to securing his deal.
“That was one of the big deciding factors that let Mossy know that I had the qualities to get a chance. He’s [Moss] said a few times that that was one of the factors that helped him make up his mind.”
Ahead of the City clash, Major said: “There’s a great buzz about the change room. Everyone wants to win, and success is only just around the corner I think.”
Major will we the number 14 jersey throughout his initial contract with the Mariners.
Sunday 4 January 2015
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
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Twitter: @CCMariners #CCMvMCY