The Central Coast Mariners can today confirm that Connor Pain & Jonathan Aspropotamitis will depart the Club at season’s end to join new Hyundai A-League outfit, Western United.
Pain arrived at the Central Coast Mariners in the lead up to the Hyundai A-League 2016/17 season and has since made 73 Hyundai A-League appearances in Yellow & Navy.
Jonathan Aspropotamitis joined the Central Coast Mariners from the Western Sydney Wanderers this season where he continued his rehab from a major ACL injury. After making his return to the Hyundai A-League, ‘Aspro’ has made 13 appearances this season.
Connor Pain thanked everyone at the Central Coast Mariners for their support over the past three years.
“This is definitely a bittersweet feeling,” Pain said. “The Central Coast has become a second home for me over the past three seasons but the time has come for me to explore another avenue and it’s certainly a difficult place to leave, I have so many fond memories of my time here both on and off the pitch.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Mariners. It was my first time moving away from home when I came here three seasons ago. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting so many great people and some of my teammates both past and present will be lifelong friends.
“The Mariners offered me a big opportunity to come up here and play more regular football, and at the time being young it was the most important thing. For that reason and so many more I’ll be eternally grateful. I would like to extend my thanks to everyone at the club, from the football department to the medical staff and office staff - they’ve all made me feel so at home over my time here.
“Most importantly, I would like to thank the fans. “It’s refreshing when you can go to games of football and be supported no matter what, despite the couple of lean seasons we have had. It’s great to be able to know certain die-hard fans by name who always take time out to say hello whether that be out and about in the community or at games, that’s a real testament to the fans that this club possesses. Ultimately, I look forward to playing away games here and seeing the fans again," Pain said.
Jonathan Aspropotamitis echoed Pain’s sentiments about the Mariners and their supporters.
“Coming to the Mariners presented some new and exciting challenges for me – moving out of home for the first time, coming to a new team, but I think the most exciting part was coming to a club that had such a history of success and was looking to rebuild after a few lean years,” Aspropotamitis said. “It’s no secret that the season hasn’t panned out the way that we all thought, and it’s been a very frustrating year on the pitch for everyone at the club.
“Whilst the results have been frustrating, it doesn’t take away from the fact that it has been an honour to represent a proud club like the Mariners.
“I came to the Mariners part way through my ACL recovery, and I’ll be forever grateful and appreciative of the support I got from everyone here, firstly for giving me the opportunity to come here and secondly for the support I received right through my recovery.
“I don’t want to compare fans from different clubs, but what was evident to me in the time I was here was, being involved in the various community events with the Mariners, walking around our stadium after matches and shaking hands with our fans, was that, even in a season like we had, our fans are some of the most supportive and loyal in the league.
“I think in the last few weeks you’ve seen the beginning of a change in mindset at the Club, and I hope it’s something that continues into next season. It’s what our fans deserve.
“I’d like to say thank you for the ongoing support they showed me, especially in the time that I was recovering from my injury, I will always have a soft spot for the Mariners and my time here will always be something I’ll never forget,” Aspropotamitis said.
The Central Coast Mariners would like to thank Connor & Jonathan for their service to the club and wish them all the best in their future endeavours.