Alen Stajcic has praised the impact and return of Ziggy Gordon to the Club after the Scotsman extended his stay with the Mariners.
Gordon played every minute of every A-League game last season and on Friday Stajcic told media that his reliability and effort were so important for the group.
“He came in last year and I think anyone who watched any Mariners games would have seen someone who is determined and committed and gave 100 percent of his effort every single game,” Stajcic said.
“He showed that real strength of character week in, week out and he was one of the few players to play every minute for us, so he was a really important part of our team last season and a building block to hopefully build around this year.”
“He gives everything he’s got at training, he gives everything he’s got at matches, he’s one of those people that you just know what you’re going to get every week, and they’re the reliable people and ones that you build teams around.”
The boss also praised Gordon for his contribution in the community and the role that the Club can play, something Stajcic has been passionate about since arriving on the Coast.
He stressed the importance of the Mariners returning to those roots and lauded Gordon for his work and relationship with the Central Coast community.
“I think he brings a bit of that old spirit, that the club was founded on when Lawrie first took the team in year one of the A-League,” Stajcic said.
“The community club, the club that is attached to the fans and to the people around, it’s a really important focus and one that perhaps the connection to the local fanbase has diminished over the recent years and really it should be the strength.”
“Being a regional centre, I think it’s a really big aspect for the central coast to have that real connection and focus and tribalism in the wider context.”
The Mariners welcomed Adam Pearce, Dan Bouman and Kye Rowles back from Olyroos duty during the week with Bouman and Rowles both receiving extended game time and Stajcic was pleased with the experience all three were able to gain.
Our boys apparently did really well at camp, showed a lot of energy and enthusiasm, and as a result got a lot of game time,” Stajcic said.
“Kye started both games, Dan Bouman started one, Pearcey didn’t get on unfortunately but it was good for him to get a recall into the camp as well, based on just his training here and John Crawley having a look at him.”
“Danny DeSilva was also invited into camp but he suffered an injury the week before so he didn’t go down and we’ve also got Gianni who is representing New Zealand so just to have five players potentially going to the Olympics next year and other youngsters who are in our club who can put their hand up during the A-League season is a real feather in our cap.”
‘And something that again looking back at the history of the Club this Club was founded on, connection to the community, young players being given an opportunity and that’s something that we really need to rebuild.”