Tony Walmsley to join Sheffield United

LONG-SERVING Central Coast Mariners National Youth League Head Coach Tony Walmsley will depart the Club in October to take up a new challenge with Sheffield United in England.

LONG-SERVING Central Coast Mariners National Youth League Head Coach Tony Walmsley will depart the Club in October to take up a new challenge with Sheffield United in England.

Walmsley has been appointed as Head of Academy Recruitment at the Blades, and will oversee Sheffield-s scouting network, development centres, club partnerships and internal strategy.

Walmsley leaves the yellow and navy on good terms having contributed significantly to the Mariners youth development strategy since joining the Club four and a half years ago.

Indeed, Walmsley played an integral role in establishing the Hyundai A-League-s first Academy structure - Central Coast Mariners Academy - launched in early 2012.

Alongside his assistant John McLafferty, Walmsley guided the Central Coast Mariners NYL side to the 2011/12 Championship. In his three seasons in charge the Mariners never finished outside the competitions top two.

“Being part of the Mariners through the growth of the Hyundai A-League and the implementation of the NYL has been very rewarding” Walmsley said.

“I've had the privilege of working under two managers with two very different styles in ‘Arnie- (Graham Arnold) and Lawrie (McKinna) and will take a lot of positive experiences with me.”

Walmsley moved to Australia 25 years ago as a player-coach in the State League at age 20, cutting his teeth in Tasmania, NSW and Queensland.

After roles as Academy Director for the official Manchester United Youth Development Program throughout Oceania, and a successful spell as Director of Football at the Gladesville-Hornsby Football Association, Walmsley was chosen to lead Mariners Youth for their second season.

In his three years in charge he has witnessed and aided the progression of youngsters including Panni Nikas, Mathew Ryan, Bernie Ibini, Mitchell Duke, Anthony Caceres, James Oates, Nick Fitzgerald and Mitchell Mallia to professional Hyundai A-League deals.

“25 years is a long time and when I reflect on the work I've done, this role will always stand out for me."

“The opportunity to now add to Sheffield United's academy management team is one I feel compelled to take up."

“While they have serious ambition to return to the EPL the Club is focussed on its Academy and I feel well prepared for the challenges ahead," he said.

Central Coast Mariners Chairman, Mr Peter Turnbull, wished Walmsley well in his new role.

“Through passionate Mariners Director Kevin McCabe the Central Coast Mariners enjoy strong links with Sheffield United,” Turnbull said. “These links are now even stronger with Tony moving to England.”

“Both Clubs can expect to benefit even more from Tony-s switch and while we are disappointed Tony is leaving, we are happy that he is staying in the family, so to speak.”

This weekend Walmsley will continue to groom the next generation of Mariners NYL stars when he takes the team to Mudgee to play two friendly matches.

Mariners Youth will take on Bathurst 75 at Glen Willow Stadium on Friday evening (kick-off 7pm), before challenging Western Sydney Wanderers Youth at the same complex on Sunday afternoon (kick-off 3pm).

Fans in Western NSW wishing to see the Mariners next generation in action are invited to attend the games.

Tony Walmsley-s successor as Central Coast Mariners National Youth League Head Coach will be advised in due course.