The Central Coast Mariners have started preparations for the selection of the #CCMLegends Team of the Decade. Adam Kwasnik has spent weeks selecting his team, and has put the final touches on who he thinks should feature in the #CCMLegends line up.
We are pleased to announce that on Saturday May 9, our Foundation Members who have been with us since day one, will have the chance to join us for a function and open the debate around who should feature in the final Central Coast Mariners Team of the Decade.
Kwasnik will unveil his Team of the Decade on the day and handle the debate amongst our Foundation Members who will offer their selections and reasoning.
Members and fans who wish to weigh in on the debate can do so via the comments section on FB or through Twitter/Instagram using the hashtag #CCMLegends. The #CCMLegends Team of the Decade will be revealed at the Mariners Medal Dinner on Friday May 22, and tickets can be purchased by clicking here or calling 4353 7200. If you are a Foundation Member and want to find out more about the Foundation Members Function you can do so by calling the number above or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
This morning Kwasnik opened up and spoke to us about his Team of the Decade:
CCM: Kwas, you’ve locked in your team of the decade and it must have been hard having played with a lot of these players. Tell us what went into the selection process?
AK: Yeah absolutely, I think over the 10 years there has been an immense amount of talent come through the club. I’ve left a lot of quality out but I’ve managed to put together a team and a bench that I believe would represent this club as a Team of the Decade that would rival the 10 teams in the country at the moment.
CCM: Do you think selection should be based on what players achieved whilst they were playing for CCM or what they went onto achieve after moving on?
AK: I think it’s a bit of both. Even if you look at some of the players and what they did before they came to the club as well. So it’s a mix, although we’d like to focus on what they did while they were at the club, I’ve based a lot of it around that but I’ve also based it around not only what they did on the park but what they did in the community as well.
We’ve been renowned over the past 10 years for being a community club and I took that very seriously into consideration.
CCM: Getting technical, you’ve locked in a 4-2-3-1 formation, can you shed some light on why you’ve chosen that?
AK: The 4-2-3-1 obviously brought the club a lot of success, it was under Graham Arnold that we played that system and we won the Championship with that system. I think it’s crucial that when the punters are selecting the Team of the Decade that we fit the players into that formation.
I’m not saying that formation will last forever, there’s always new coaches coming in with new ideas and we’ve obviously played with different formations in the past but for me it’s a significant formation, purely because we won a Championship with it.
CCM: You mentioned that you left some quality out. Without giving too much away, is there a player that you’ve left out who really does deserve a spot?
AK: Yeah look, there were a couple for me but I’ve based my selections around versatility as well. So in that 4-2-3-1 there’s a lot of players that play in the back four that could possibly play in the midfield or anywhere along the backline, so I took that into consideration.
There are a couple of players for me: Damien Brown being a local boy and our first ever signing as well as Tony Vidmar who contributed greatly to the success of this club in it’s early days. Leaving these guys out was very very tough.
CCM: You’ve played with a lot of these players and you know them personally – how much did the personalities of the players and mate ship play in your selection?
AK: Yeah a little bit. I think that this club has always signed players based on what they do on the pitch but also what they’re like as a person and if they can fit into the culture of the club, I think that’s an important part of signing players. I see that no different when selecting the Team of the Decade.
Mateship, if I’m honest – yeah it did play a bit of a part as well but in saying that, the close mates that I have picked in this squad do add quality, they’re versatile, tick all the boxes so I had no dramas putting them in there.
CCM: You’ve been a huge part of this club as a player, do you expect to see your name pop up in the Team of the Decade?
AK: No (laughs), that’s totally up to the punters but I don’t personally see it happening. As you know I was a striker, in the front third particularly there has been a lot of quality come through this club and their records speak for themselves.
I definitely didn’t put myself in there, whether the punters do or not, my advice would be don’t do it!
CCM: Who was your first selection? Is there a player who you think is a guaranteed selection?
AK: If I’m honest, in the selection process I basically started with my goalkeeper and worked my way through to the front third and then onto my bench.
If I had to put a player down as first pick it would have to be John Hutchinson. When you look at what he’s done for the club; his achievements; his success and his number of appearances, there is no doubt. The guy epitomises what this club is all about and I would say he would be in most peoples’ teams as the first person on the list.
CCM: Lastly, Hutch receives a lot of plaudits for building culture and being a great leader but do you think his quality as a player is sometimes overlooked?
AK: Absolutely, Hutch had a lot of success when he played in the front third for the Mariners, he was very versatile when he was younger and he had a serious knee injury in the early days which set him back a bit.
His range of passing with both his left and right foot is amazing; he could land a pass from 50 or 60 metres on a five-cent coin. The attributes he brings to the field, make no mistake about it, is pure quality and he has been a great player for this club.