Central Coast Mariners FC
Central Coast Mariners Football Club is an Australian professional soccer club based in Gosford, on the Central Coast of New South Wales. It competes under licence from Football Federation Australia; the Mariners are one of the eight original A-League teams. It is the first professional sports club from the Gosford region to compete in a national competition. Despite being considered one of the smallest-market clubs in the league, the Central Coast Mariners have claimed one A-League Championship from four Grand Final appearances and topped the table to win the A-League Premiership twice; the club has appeared in the AFC Champions League four times. The club plays matches at a 20,059-seat stadium in Gosford; the facility is home to a youth team that competes in the National Youth League. The English EFL Championship team Sheffield United has invested in the Central Coast-based club, the Mariners has affiliation agreements with several international clubs; the Mariners' main supporters' group is known as the Yellow Army, for the colour of the club's home kit.
The club shares a rivalry with Newcastle Jets, known as the F3 Derby, after the previous name of the motorway that connects the cities of the teams. Matt Simon is the Mariners' all-time leading goalscorer as of December 2014, with 49 goals in all competitions; the team record for matches played is held by John Hutchinson, who has appeared in 263 games for the Mariners. Central Coast Mariners' bid for a franchise in the Football Federation Australia's new A-League competition was aimed at filling the one spot for a regional team, designated by the FFA. Media speculation prior to the announcement of the franchises in the new league suggested that the Mariners' bid may be favourable due to its new blood. Backing from former Australian international player and club technical director Alex Tobin, as well as Clean Up Australia personality Ian Kiernan—who would act as inaugural club chairman—also strengthened its proposal; as the only regional bidder, Central Coast was expected to make it into the league by default.
Following a reported signed deal with the FFA, the club signed former Northern Spirit coach Lawrie McKinna as manager and Ian Ferguson, a former Rangers and Northern Spirit player, as coach. To aid the FFA's goals of building the profile of the sport, the Mariners created formal links with local state league team Central Coast United. On 1 November 2004, after much expectation, the club was announced as one of eight teams to become part of FFA's domestic competition, the A-League; the decision made Central Coast Mariners the first Gosford-based professional sports team to play in a national competition. At the time of the formation of the new league in 2004, the club was owned by Spirits Sports and Leisure Group; the club announced its search for a star player under the league's allowance for one star player outside of the $1.5 million salary cap, insisting that the player should not look at the position as a retirement fund. Coach Lawrie McKinna sought interest from Australia national football team players Ante Milicic and Simon Colosimo, announced that he may sign more than the three under-20 players required by league rules.
Early concerns for the club focussed on concerns over financial stability, but after forming a partnership with technology company Toshiba and a cash injection from local businessman John Singleton, the club's financial worries were eased. McKinna was keen to sign local player Damien Brown of Bateau Bay of the Newcastle Jets. In a decision which prompted the player to declare that he was "over the moon", Brown became the first player to sign with the club. Club chairman Lyall Gorman was pleased that a local had become a "foundation player" and part of Brown's role would be to assist with selection of younger players from the local area. By early December 2004, the club had created a steady foundation of player signings and began negotiations with former Perth Glory striker Nik Mrdja, signing him in the month as its star attacker. Mrjda was one of the most prominent players in the last season of the National Soccer League, scoring the final goal to secure Perth Glory's finals win; the club's management was reluctant to sign a star player outside of the $1.5 million salary cap, stipulating that they "would have to contribute on the pitch and get people to come to the ground."
The Mariners' inaugural season was considered a resounding success by most. Central Coast was defeated by Sydney FC 1–0 in front of a crowd of 41,689—a competition record at the time; the Mariners won the 2005 Pre-Season Cup, defeating Perth Glory in the final 1–0. Before the 2006–07 A-League season, the Mariners secured the services of then-Australian international Tony Vidmar from NAC Breda for two years; this was the club's first marquee signing, following the lead of Adelaide United. Central Coast again reached the grand final in the 2006 Pre-Season Cup, losing to Adelaide United 5–4 on penalties after the score was tied 1–1 after extra time; the Mariners participated in the 2006–07 A-League season, but was unable to gain a spot in the final series, finishing sixth after the regular season. Club captain Noel Spencer was released by the Mariners signed to participate in the Asian Champions League by Sydney FC after the 2006–07 season, Alex Wilkinson was appointed the new captain. Only 22 years of age at the time, Wilkinson had played every possible competitive match for the Mariners up to his appointment.
In February 2008, Central Coast Mariners signed an arrangem
Mitchell Ian "Mitch" Nichols is an Australian professional footballer who plays for Gold Coast Knights in the National Premier Leagues Queensland. He signed a two-year deal on 11 May 2007 with the Roar after impressing in the opening rounds of the Gold Coast Premier League with Palm Beach Sharks, leading the goal scoring charts from midfield after 7 matches. Roar manager Frank Farina stated that Nichols was "one for the future" the official press conference following his signing. Nichols made a solid start to his career in the A-League with a number of substitute appearances, he received his first call-up to the Australian Under 20 squad for a training camp on 7 October 2007. He scored his first goal for the Roar in his side's 4–1 victory over Perth Glory midway through the 2008–09 season. In the 2011–12 season, the midfielder exceeded expectations pre-season, scoring 10 goals from long range, he made the A-league Team of the Season, alongside teammates Thomas Broich and Besart Berisha. Before he joined Melbourne Victory he went on trial at Danish club Randers.
On 13 May 2013, it was announced by Melbourne Victory that Nichols had signed a two-year deal with the club, reuniting him with his former Roar manager Ange Postecoglou. He became Postecoglou’s first new signing ahead of the 2013/14 Hyundai A-League season. Japanese J1 League Club Cerezo Osaka made multiple bids for Nichols during the January 2014 transfer window, the highest of which reaching $400,000. Melbourne Victory stood firm despite Nichols' interest in the offer, however look set to complete the deal in the hope of acquiring young Australian midfielder, Tom Rogic. In the end following Nichols' interest in moving and Tom Rogic joining Melbourne Victory, Nichols joined Cerezo Osaka. Nichols made his debut for Cerezo on 11 March 2014, coming off the bench in an AFC Champions League match against Shandong Luneng Taishan, which Cerezo lost 1–3. On 23 June 2014, Nichols joined Perth Glory on a one-year loan. On 3 July 2015, Nichols signed a two-year deal with A-League side Western Sydney Wanderers.
Nichols made his Wanderers debut against Brisbane Roar on 8 October 2015, scoring his debut goal for the club in the 13th minute of Wanderers' 3-1 defeat. On 11 May 2017, it was announced. Despite Nichols admitting to drug possession, on 13 June 2017, Perth Glory signed him on a two-year deal. On 20 February 2018, Perth Glory mutually terminated his contract due to family reasons. On 23 July 2018, it was announced that Nichols had signed a two year deal with Wellington Phoenix to stay in the A-league. On 15 January 2019, it was announced that the Phoenix had parted ways. On 15 March 2019, Nichols signed. Nichols represented the Australia U-20 team during the AFC U-19 Championship in Saudi Arabia, he scored two goals in the Quarter Final match against North Korea including a spectacular overhead kick in extra time. Nichols represented the Australia U-23 team receiving his first cap in 2010. Nichols made his first senior international debut for the Socceroos on 4 March 2009 in an AFC Asian Cup qualifying match versus Kuwait.
As of 15 January 20191 – includes A-League final series statistics 2 – includes FIFA Club World Cup statistics. League
Central Coast Stadium
Grahame Park named Bluetongue Stadium due to sponsorship by Bluetongue Brewery, is a sports venue in Gosford, on the Central Coast of New South Wales, Australia. The stadium is home to the Central Coast Mariners association football club which compete in the A-League; the stadium hosts rugby league and rugby union fixtures on an ad hoc basis as well as other major social events. The stadium was designed to be the home stadium for the North Sydney Bears rugby league football club; the stadium is rectangular and is unusual in that seating is located on only three sides of the ground. The southern end is open giving filtered views of Brisbane Water through a row of palm trees. With an all seater capacity of 20,059 it was as of 2012 the second smallest stadium in the A-League, it is within walking distance of the Gosford Gosford railway station. The Central Coast Leagues Club and League Club Field are adjacent to the stadium, across Dane Drive. In 1911, Erina Shire Council proposed to create a park on the shore of Brisbane Water.
The park required much land to be reclaimed from marshland. It required owned land to be purchased by council and a section of road to be demolished. Waterside Park was opened in 1915 and a cricket pitch was added during that year. Further reclamation of the foreshore extended the park during the Depression that gave work to the unemployed. By 1939 surplus railway land had been added and a Bowling Club and green as well as tennis courts had been constructed. In 1939 the Park was renamed Grahame Park, after the mayor of Gosford, William Calman Grahame. A full stadium was touted and built in the late 1990s, planned to be ready in 1999 for NRL club the North Sydney Bears, before construction problems including large spells of inclement weather delayed completion; the stadium opened in early 2000 as NorthPower Stadium at Grahame Park, the Northern Eagles National Rugby League team taking residence there until their dissolving at the conclusion of the 2002 season. In 2003, with no major sporting team in residence, the stadium played host to three group matches in the 2003 Rugby World Cup.
The Pacific Islanders rugby union team played one match at the stadium on their 2004 tour. The stadium gained its second full-time tenant in 2005 with the formation of the Central Coast Mariners, a team in the newly formed national A-League football competition, it became the first full-time national sporting competition to have a team play at the stadium. Further use of the stadium in 2006 follows from it being the home ground to the Central Coast Waves rugby union team, which joined the Shute Shield in 2006; the stadium continues to host NRL competition matches from time to time, as well as a number of pre-season trials. The Central Coast Rays, the Central Coasts' Australian Rugby Championship team, played out of the stadium during the only season of the competition in 2007; the stadium continued as a home to the Mariners A-League side as of 2007, hosted NRL matches throughout the 2008 Centenary Year. In 2014, the NSW Country Eagles hosted. In recent years the Sydney Roosters have hosted one NRL game per season at Central Coast Stadium.
In 2004, Central Coast Stadium played host to two North Queensland Cowboys matches, the first of which resulted in a historic 20-20 draw with wooden spooners South Sydney, the first such result since golden point was introduced in 2003. There has been several name changes since the Stadium was built reactions relating to sponsorship: Waterside Park, from 1915. Central Coast Stadium at Grahame Park, from 25 January 2014; the station is served by the Central Coast & Newcastle Line and a small number of long-distance services. Record crowds for different sports: The stadium has hosted one rugby league international; the stadium hosted three games of the 2003 Rugby World Cup, held in Australia. Official website for Central Coast Stadium National Rugby League A-League Football Central Coast Mariners Central Coast Stadium at Austadiums Template:W-League stadiums
Matt Smith (footballer, born 1982)
Matthew Terence Smith is an English-born Australian football player who plays for Hong Kong Premier League club Kitchee. Born in England, Smith emigrated to Australia where he started his professional football career with North Queensland Fury during the 2009/10 A-League season and signed a two-year contract with Brisbane Roar at the start of the A-League 2010/11 season, he has played for the Australian national team. Born in Chichester, Smith started his career playing University football in England, where he represented several different Universities before being signed by Championship club Portsmouth. Smith moved to Australia for one year in 2004 and returned in 2006, during which time he attended Hartpury College in Gloucestershire and completed his master's degree in Sports Management, he captained the Hartpury senior side to the BUSA National Championship in 2007. He played for Palm Beach before moving to Brisbane Strikers, he was signed on an injury replacement loan at North Queensland Fury to replace Scottish defender Scott Wilson.
On 16 April 2010 it was announced that Smith joined the Brisbane Roar on a two-year deal after his contract with North Queensland expired due to ownership changes. On 6 September 2011, the Roar announced that Smith would replace departed midfielder Matt McKay as captain of the club. On 10 September 2012, Smith signed a new 3-year contract at the Roar, extending his stay until the end of the 2015/16 season, it was announced in December 2014 that Smith would leave the Brisbane Roar and join Bangkok Glass for an undisclosed fee. On 31 December 2018, Smith moved to Hong Kong Premier League club Kitchee. On 12 February 2019, in the third qualifying match of the 2019 Asian Champions League, Kitchee played away to Perak FA. During the match, Matt Smith was shown a red card after picking up his second yellow card in the 49th minute. Kitchee lost the match on penalties in the end. Smith married Aicha Bendjelloul, an English woman on May 17, 2012 in a civil ceremony in Brisbane, Australia, they celebrated with family and friends by hosting a party on the Thai island of Koh Samui.
Together, they have 4 children Isla, Ava and Owen. Smith is qualified with a BA Degree in Marketing and Leisure Management and a Masters in Sports Management from Hartpury College in Gloucestershire. Brisbane StrikersQueensland State League Premiership: 2009Brisbane RoarA-League Championship: 2010–11, 2011–12, 2013–14 A-League Premiership: 2010–11, 2013–14 PFA A-League Team of the Season: 2010–11, 2013–14 As of 17 December 20181 - includes A-League final series statistics 2 - includes FIFA Club World Cup statistics.
Perth Glory FC
Perth Glory Football Club is an Australian professional soccer club based in Perth, Western Australia. It competes in the country's premier competition, the A-League, under licence from Football Federation Australia. Founded in 1995, Perth Glory is one of three A-League clubs to survive from the now defunct National Soccer League. Glory entered the A-League competition for the inaugural 2005–06 season, eight years after the club's formation in 1995. Perth won their first silverware in the A-League era; the club plays at Perth Oval known as HBF Park for sponsorship purposes, with a seated capacity of 20,500. A youth team competes in the Y-League, a women's team competes in the W-League. Both the youth and women's team play at various locations across Perth, most played at Dorrien Gardens. Perth first showed interest in joining the National Soccer League prior to its inaugural year in 1977. However, a series of logistical problems and financial concerns meant that the league was not keen to include a Western Australian side.
While the state representative side continued to perform well in national and international cup competitions, WA continued to be unrepresented at a senior club level until 1994. In 1994, a group of businessmen led by Joe Claudio formed the Perth Kangaroos IFC; the club competed in the 1994 Singapore Premier League along with the Darwin Cubs. At the time, there were visions of establishing an Asia-Pacific Super League which could become a sporting and financial empire in the east, it turned out to be something of a farce. The Kangaroos finished the league season undefeated and won the Singapore league title. However, with dwindling support and resources, the experiment proved to be a financial disaster and Perth Kangaroos IFC soon folded. In 1995, another consortium led by Nick Tana made a bid for entry into the National Soccer League. Perth Glory was subsequently licensed to join the 1996–97 NSL season and on 1 December 1995 the club was launched. From a unheralded start, the club would develop beyond all expectations and help commercially re-establish Association football in a state where Australian rules football dominates the media and Rugby league was commercially about to fail.
Former Adelaide City player and Perth Kangaroos coach Gary Marocchi was appointed coach for the first two seasons and won many fans with his bold, attacking style. Believed to be nothing more than a token participant, Perth surprised many by only just missing the cut for the finals; the exciting style of "you score three, we score four" drew fans – including many British expatriates. Players like NSL-title-winning sweeper Vinko Buljubašić, Perth-based striker Bobby Despotovski and young local star Vas Kalogeracos were brought into the team and achieved cult status. New Zealand international Gavin Wilkinson was signed while local midfielder Gareth Naven was appointed captain. In their first match in the NSL, Perth Glory lost to Sydney Olympic 4–1, with veteran Scot Alan MacKenzie scoring the first goal for Glory and Doug Ithier winning the first Man-of-the-Match award. Large crowds and good results soon followed with an exciting win over defending champions the Melbourne Knights thrilling a huge crowd.
Glory needed only a point in their final match of the season but were defeated by the Knights and fell just short of making the finals. Glory midfielder Paul Strudwick was sent off during the match in controversial circumstances while trouble in the crowd marred the match. In the 1997–98 season, despite again narrowly missing the top six and signing more high-profile players like Ernie Tapai, Danny Hay and Nigerians Samson Siasia and Peter Anosike it was a disappointing season for the Glory. Fan support was further consolidated in the era of Bernd Stange; the former East German national coach became a media star after replacing Gary Marocchi, sacked and took the team into the competition playoffs. The success of the team created record attendances along with record exposure in the local media. During Stange's reign, Glory competed in its first-ever NSL Grand Final in 1999–2000 after having won the League championship. In his first season, Stange had taken Glory to their first finals series the previous season and had fallen in the preliminary final against Sydney United.
With new signings John Markovski and Con Boutsianis fitting straight into the side, local player Jamie Harnwell started to develop into a key defender and made the step to replace the injured Vinko Buljubašić. A horror form slump at the height of summer denied the Glory a top two place but massive crowds still attended their two home finals at the WACA Ground against Adelaide City and Marconi Stallions; the following year, Glory recruited young players Ivan Ergić, Jason Petković and Olyroo Kasey Wehrmann. The 1999/2000 grand final is remembered. Earlier in the Championship Playoff series, Perth had narrowly beaten the Wollongong Wolves in a two-legged Major Semi Final – needing a dramatic 80th-minute penalty and goal in extra time to advance. In the grand final, Perth again faced the Wolves and led 3–0 at half time against a miserable Wolves outfit. Yet, the Wolves rallied superbly and Perth experienced a series of defensive blunders to be pegged back to 3–3 at full-time. Perth subsequently lost on penalties, but this defining moment galvanised the team and would be a motivating force for years to come.
James Afkos, a young defender and son of Glory co-owner Paul Afkos saw his penalty saved, which gav
Massimo Murdocca is an Australian professional football player who plays as a right or central midfielder for Nunawading City FC in the National Premier Leagues. Before joining Brisbane Roar, Murdocca played for South Melbourne and Carlton SC in the now defunct National Soccer League, for Fawkner Blues in the Victorian Premier League. Murdocca had a hugely successful spell with the Roar, making 182 appearances and scoring four goals over eight seasons from 2005 to 2013. After his release from Brisbane, Murdocca signed a two-year deal with Melbourne Heart. Murdocca played in all 27 games of the 2013–14 A-League season, as his side finished in bottom place; the following season, Murdocca's role was reduced, starting in just 7 games. Murdocca was released from the club at the end of the 2014-15 season. In May 2015 Murdocca signed with Avondale. Murdocca made 11 appearances in the second half of the 2015 NPL Victoria season, scoring two goals as his side finished ninth. In November 2015, Avondale confirmed.
Murdocca made 24 appearances as Avondale finished one place higher in eighth. Murdocca, made captain for the 2017 season, led Avondale to the club's first finals series, after making 27 appearances in their run to third place. However, Avondale went 2-1 down to Oakleigh Cannons FC in the elimination round. Murdocca was given the NPL Victoria Gold Medal at the end of season awards night. On 26 October 2017 it was announced Massimo had signed for Nunawading City FC where former Melbourne Heart/City team mates Patrick Gerhardt & James Brown were already. Murdocca represented Australia in the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship. Murdocca is known in the A-League for his high work rate and stamina, his low centre of gravity allows him to be agile in his movements on the pitch. With Brisbane: A-League Premiership: 2010–2011 A-League Championship: 2010–2011, 2011–12 As of 26 May 20151 - includes A-League final series statistics 2 - includes FIFA Club World Cup statistics.
Angelos "Ange" Postecoglou is an Australian former soccer player and the former head coach of the Australia national soccer team. He is one of the most successful Australian club coaches with two premierships, four championships and a continental title, he is the manager of Yokohama F. Marinos. Postecoglou was born in Greece. After Postecoglou's father, lost his business following the 1967 Greek military coup, Postecoglou emigrated to Australia by boat in 1970 at the age of five, growing up in Melbourne, Victoria. In his early years he grew up playing Australian rules football and is a lifelong supporter of the Carlton Football Club in the Australian Football League. Postecoglou supports Liverpool. Postecoglou is married to Georgia, who worked at South Melbourne as a marketing manager when he served as manager of the club. Postecoglou has three sons, James and Alexi. After first joining the club as a nine year old, Postecoglou played 193 games from 1984 to 1993 for South Melbourne in the National Soccer League, where he was involved in their 1984 and 1990–91 titles, the latter as captain, before moving into coaching.
In his international playing career, Postecoglou represented Australia on four occasions between 1986 and 1988 as well as representing Australia at youth level in 1985. Postecoglou coached South Melbourne from 1996 until 2000, he led them to consecutive National Soccer League titles in 1997–98 and 1998–99, as well as winning the 1999 Oceania Club Championship, which in turn led to their participation in the 2000 FIFA Club World Championship. After the 1999–2000 NSL season, he stood down from the South Melbourne coaching role when he was appointed coach of the Australian youth team, he is the only person to have been involved in all four of South Melbourne's NSL title-winning teams, the first two as a player and the latter two as coach. Following his domestic coaching success, Postecoglou became coach of Australia's youth sides in 2000. During his tenure, he played a role in developing Australian players. Postecoglou was involved in an on-air argument with football pundit Craig Foster on The World Game.
He was replaced as coach in February 2007 after Australia failed to qualify for the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup. After his departure as coach of the Australian youth teams, Postecoglou worked as a football pundit for Fox Sports and as an elite consultant to Football Federation Victoria. Postecoglou coached Panachaiki in the Greek third division from March to December 2008. Despite keeping the traditional club well within contention for promotion, more in the top three for most of the season, a falling out with club management ended his tenure in Patras. On 16 October 2009, Postecoglou was signed as the new Brisbane Roar coach. Postecoglou started rebuilding the team by releasing Liam Reddy, Craig Moore, Bob Malcolm and Charlie Miller. Tommy Oar, Michael Zullo and Adam Sarota were bought by Dutch club FC Utrecht and striker Sergio van Dijk went to Adelaide United. Postecoglou, who asked to be judged a year from the time he took over, proved the critics wrong by winning and playing an entertaining brand of football.
The Roar's possession based style of play under Postecoglou earned them the nickname "Roarcelona". The 4–0 win against Adelaide United in round 13 was praised in the media as some of the best football the A-League has seen. Postecoglou led the Roar to the Premiership and Championship in the 2010–11 season, winning the Grand Final 4–2 on penalties against the Central Coast Mariners in front of 52,168 people at Lang Park; the Roar only lost one game all season and went on a 36-game unbeaten run, which broke the previous Australian football record. On 18 March 2011, he signed a two-year extension with the club keeping him until the 2013–14 season. Postecoglou's side continued their winning streak in the 2011–12 season and now hold the all-time Australian football code record for longest undefeated sporting streak of 36 games, surpassing rugby league side Eastern Suburbs' record set 74 years ago. Postecoglou is managed by sports management company Football Focus International. In the 2011–12 season, Brisbane Roar became the first team to win back-to-back A-League championships and Postecoglou became the most successful Australian domestic football coach, with four national titles.
On 24 April 2012, Postecoglou announced his resignation as head coach of Brisbane Roar. Postecoglou left the Roar after two-and-a-half years, during which he led the club to back-to-back A-League championships, a premiership and consecutive qualification for the AFC Champions League. On 26 April 2012, it was announced that he had signed a three-year contract with A-League club Melbourne Victory as head coach. Postecoglou started rebuilding the team by releasing Matthew Kemp, Grant Brebner, Rodrigo Vargas, Tom Pondeljak, Ante Čović, Carlos Hernández, Harry Kewell and Fabio Alves, with Jean Carlos Solórzano and Ubay Luzardo returned to their respective clubs after their loan deals had expired. Postecoglou rounded up his squad by signing Jonathan Bru, Guilherme Finkler, Adama Traoré, Marcos Flores, Mark Milligan, Theo Markelis, Sam Gallagher and Spase Dilevski. Postecoglou's first game in charge of Melbourne Victory was the Round 1 clash against crosstown rivals Melbourne Heart, an encounter which the Victory lost 2–1.
His first win came against Adelaide United in Round 4, with the Victory prevailing 2–1. The following year, Melbourne Victory made the A-League Preliminary Final after beating Perth Glory in an Elimination Final 2–1 at Docklands Stadium. Melbourne Victory played in the Preliminary Final against Central Coast Mariners and lost 2–0. Postecoglou was appointed head coach of Australia on 23 October 2013 on a five-year contra