What's the ‘Gaffer' up to then?
With the Central Coast Mariners’ preparations for Season 11 well underway and transparency a big part in the way we do business, I want to provide Mariners’ members and fans with an update on how we are travelling and what I've been up to over here in the U.K.
First things first! The hunt for top players is the highest priority and the greatest challenge but I am confident in the progress we have made in this short time with a number of talented players being assessed on our radar.
To be honest, some, even many, will be out of our reach at this stage, while others are being viewed in comparison to local (Australian) counterparts importantly because we believe in giving young Australians a chance.
Getting it right won't be a problem, but it's about the checks and balances and we may even trial one or two players in July before finalising.
The two key questions are around value are:
- Do they add value on the pitch right now and at what cost?
- Do they have potential to grow their value with us?
A big part of this trip is to get closer to the English Premier League’s, Everton F.C. to build on the partnership foundations laid by Peter Storrie (Central Coast Mariners Executive Vice Chairman) which will allow me to identify potential players.
I spent the day with Joe Royle (Everton’s Professional Development Coordinator) to exchange broader ideas on how the partnership can work both ways. The enthusiasm for the project is clear and has been embraced by Roberto Martínez (Everton’s Manager).
The key questions here are, do Everton have age eligible players who are:
- Available for loan?
- In the positions we are seeking to strengthen?
- Capable to play in the Hyundai A-League?
- Willing to play in Australia?
- Possess suitable characteristics to fit the culture of the Mariners?
Identifying players that meet all these criteria is not straightforward. We have identified two players who fit the initial brief and I will be heading to Finch Farm (Everton's training facility) in the near future to watch them in action and to talk more with the coaches.
We need to take a long term view on this, but it's fair to say Everton are in!
See you soon.