The Union of European Football Associations is the administrative body for association football and beach soccer in Europe, although several member states are or located in Asia. It is one of six continental confederations of world football's governing body FIFA. UEFA consists of 55 national association members. UEFA represents the national football associations of Europe, runs nation and club competitions including the UEFA European Championship, UEFA Nations League, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, UEFA Super Cup, controls the prize money and media rights to those competitions. Henri Delaunay was Ebbe Schwartz the first president; the current president is Aleksander Čeferin, a former Football Association of Slovenia president, elected as UEFA's seventh president at the 12th Extraordinary UEFA Congress in Athens in September 2016, automatically became a vice-president of the world body FIFA. UEFA was founded on 15 June 1954 in Basel, Switzerland after consultation between the Italian and Belgian associations.
The European football union began with 25 members. Until 1959 the main headquarters were located in Paris, in Bern. In 1995, UEFA headquarters were transferred to Switzerland. UEFA membership coincides for the most part with recognition as a sovereign country in Europe, although there are some exceptions; some states are not members. Some UEFA members are not sovereign states, but form part of a larger recognised sovereign state in the context of international law; these include Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, the Faroe Islands, Kosovo, however in the context of these countries government functions concerning sport tend to be carried at the territorial level coterminous with the UEFA member entity. Some UEFA members are transcontinental states and others are considered part of Europe both culturally and politically. Countries, members of the Asian Football Confederation were admitted to the European football association Israel and Kazakhstan. Additionally some UEFA member associations allow teams from outside their association's main territory to take part in their "domestic" competition.
AS Monaco, for example, takes part in the French League. F. C. participate in the English League. Derry City, situated in Northern Ireland, plays in the Republic of Ireland-based League of Ireland and the 7 native Liechtensteinian teams play in the Swiss Leagues. Saarland Football Union, joined Football Association of West Germany Football Association of East Germany, joined Football Association of West Germany as German Football Association Football Federation of the Soviet Union. Four other successor republics formed their own football organisations. Football Association of Serbia and Montenegro. Montenegro, which exited the union, created the Football Association of Montenegro, it competed as FR Yugoslavia until 2003 when the country changed its name to Montenegro. Football Association of Czechoslovakia, became Football Association of the Czech Republic and Slovak Football Association with the Football Association of the Czech Republic acknowledged as its direct successor. Lithuania, in 1990 sanctions were imposed due to secession of Lithuanian Football Federation from the Football Federation of Soviet Union Yugoslavia, in 1992-1998 sanctions were imposed due to the Bosnian War Italy, in 1974-1975 sanctions were imposed against SS Lazio due to its fans, Italy was restricted from the European Cup to which Lazio qualified England, in 1985-1991 sanctions were imposed against English association football clubs due to the Heysel Stadium disaster by suspending their participation in continental competitions for five years Netherlands, in 1991-1992 sanctions were imposed against AFC Ajax due to its fans, the Netherlands were restricted from the European Cup to which Ajax qualified Albania, in 1967 special sanctions were imposed against 1966–67 Albanian Superliga due to its political background 1968–69 the Warsaw Pact demonstrated political protest and imposed sanctions on clubs of its members in continental competitions (included E
Defender (association football)
In the sport of association football, a defender is an outfield player whose primary role is to prevent the opposing team from scoring goals. There are four types of defenders: centre-back, full-back, wing-back; the centre-back and full-back positions are essential in most modern formations. The sweeper and wing-back roles are more specialised for certain formations. A centre-back defends in the area directly in front of the goal, tries to prevent opposing players centre-forwards, from scoring. Centre-backs accomplish this by blocking shots, intercepting passes, contesting headers and marking forwards to discourage the opposing team from passing to them. With the ball, centre-backs are expected to make long and pinpoint passes to their teammates, or to kick unaimed long balls down the field. For example, a clearance is a long unaimed kick intended to move the ball as far as possible from the defender's goal. Due to the many skills centre-backs are required to possess in the modern game, many successful contemporary central-defensive partnerships have involved pairing a more physical defender with a defender, quicker, more comfortable in possession and capable of playing the ball out from the back.
During normal play, centre-backs are unlikely to score goals. However, when their team takes a corner kick or other set pieces, centre-backs may move forward to the opponents' penalty area. In this case, other defenders or midfielders will temporarily move into the centre-back positions; some centre-backs have been known for their direct free kicks and powerful shots from distance. Brazilian defenders David Luiz and Naldo have been known for using the cannonball free kick method, which relies more on power than placement. In the modern game, most teams employ three centre-backs in front of the goalkeeper; the 4–2–3–1, 4–3–3, 4–4–2 formations all use two centre-backs. There are two main defensive strategies used by centre-backs: the zonal defence, where each centre-back covers a specific area of the pitch; the sweeper is a more versatile centre-back who "sweeps up" the ball if an opponent manages to breach the defensive line. This position is rather more fluid than that of other defenders who man-mark their designated opponents.
Because of this, it is sometimes referred to as libero. Though sweepers may be expected to build counter-attacking moves, as such require better ball control and passing ability than typical centre-backs, their talents are confined to the defensive realm. For example, the catenaccio system of play, used in Italian football in the 1960s, employed a purely defensive sweeper who only "roamed" around the back line; the more modern libero possesses the defensive qualities of the typical libero while being able to expose the opposition during counterattacks. The Fundell-libero has become more popular in recent time with the sweeper transitioning to the most advanced forward in an attack; this variation on the position requires great fitness. While seen in professional football, the position has been extensively used in lower leagues. Modern libero sit behind centre-backs as a sweeper before charging through the team to join in the attack; some sweepers move forward and distribute the ball up-field, while others intercept passes and get the ball off the opposition without needing to hurl themselves into tackles.
If the sweeper does move up the field to distribute the ball, they will need to make a speedy recovery and run back into their position. In modern football, its usage has been restricted, with few clubs in the biggest leagues using the position; the position is most believed to have been pioneered by Franz Beckenbauer, Gaetano Scirea, Elías Figueroa, although they were not the first players to play this position. Earlier proponents included Alexandru Apolzan, Ivano Blason, Velibor Vasović, Ján Popluhár. Other defenders who have been described as sweepers include Bobby Moore, Franco Baresi, Ronald Koeman, Fernando Hierro, Matthias Sammer, Aldair, due to their ball skills and long passing ability. Though it is used in modern football, it remains a respected and demanding position. A recent and successful use of the sweeper was made by Otto Rehhagel, Greece's manager, during UEFA Euro 2004. Rehhagel utilized Traianos Dellas as Greece's sweeper to great success, as Greece became European champions.
Although this position has become obsolete in modern football formations, due to the use of zonal marking and the offside trap, certain players such as Daniele De Rossi:, Leonardo Bonucci, Javi Martínez and David Luiz have played a similar role as a ball-playing central defender in a 3–5–2 or 3–4–3 formation. Some goalkeepers, who are comfortable leaving their goalmouth to intercept and clear through balls, who participate more in play, such as René Higuita, Manuel Neuer, Edwin van der Sar, Fabien Barthez, Hugo Lloris, among others, have been referred to as sweep
Australia national soccer team
The Australia national soccer team represents Australia in international men's soccer. Nicknamed the Socceroos, the team is controlled by the governing body for soccer in Australia, Football Federation Australia, a member of the Asian Football Confederation and the regional ASEAN Football Federation since leaving the Oceania Football Confederation in 2006. Australia is the only national team to have been a champion of two confederations, having won the OFC Nations Cup four times between 1980 and 2004, as well as the AFC Asian Cup at the 2015 event on home soil; the team has represented Australia at the FIFA World Cup tournament on five occasions, in 1974 and from 2006 to 2018. The team has represented Australia at the FIFA Confederations Cup four times; the first Australia national team was constituted in 1922 for a tour of New Zealand, which included two defeats and a draw. For the next 36 years, New Zealand and South Africa became regular opponents in tour matches. During that period, Australia competed against Canada and India during their tours of Australia in 1924 and 1938 respectively.
Australia recorded their worst defeat on 30 June 1951 as they lost 17–0 in a match to a touring England side. Australia had a rare opportunity to compete on the world's stage during the team's first major international tournament as hosts of the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. However, an inexperienced squad proved to be reason for the team's disappointing performance. With the advent of cheap air travel, Australia began to diversify its range of opponents. However, its geographical isolation continued to play a role in its destiny for the next 30 years. After failing to qualify for the FIFA World Cup in 1966 and 1970, losing in play-offs to North Korea and Israel Australia appeared at their first World Cup in West Germany, 1974. After managing only a draw from Chile and losses from East Germany and West Germany, the team, made up of amateur players was eliminated at the end of the first round, finishing last in their group without scoring a goal, it would prove to be the only appearance for the Australian team until the World Cup tournament returned to Germany more than three decades in 2006.
Over a 40-year period, the Australian team was known for its near misses in its attempts to qualify for the World Cup. The team's poor record in World Cup competition was not reflected in their reasonable performances against strong European and South American sides. In 1988, Australia defeated reigning world champions Argentina 4–1 in the Australian Bicentennial Gold Cup. In 1997, Australia drew with reigning world champions Brazil 0–0 in the group stage and defeated Uruguay 1–0 in the semi-finals to reach the 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup Final. In 2001, after a victory against reigning world champions France in the group stage, Australia finished the 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup in third place after defeating Brazil 1–0 in the third-place decider. Australia defeated England 3–1 at West Ham United's Boleyn Ground in 2003 as Wayne Rooney made his international debut. In early 2005, it was reported that Football Federation Australia had entered into discussions to join the Asian Football Confederation and end an 40-year association with the Oceania Football Confederation.
Many commentators and fans, most notably soccer broadcaster and former Australian captain Johnny Warren, felt that the only way for Australia to progress was to abandon Oceania. On 13 March, the AFC executive committee made a unanimous decision to invite Australia to join the AFC. After the OFC executive committee unanimously endorsed Australia's proposed move, FIFA approved the move on 30 June 2005. Australia joined Asia, with the move taking effect on 1 January 2006, though until Australia had to compete for a 2006 World Cup position as an OFC member country. After a successful campaign, the team took the first steps towards qualification for the 2006 World Cup. After coach Frank Farina stood down from the position after Australia's dismal performance at the 2005 Confederations Cup, Guus Hiddink was announced as the new national coach. Australia, ranked 49th, would have to play the 18th ranked Uruguay in a rematch of the 2001 qualification play-off for a spot in the 2006 World Cup. After a 5–0 friendly win against Jamaica, the first leg of the play-off tournament was lost, with the return leg still to be played in Australia four days in Sydney on 16 November 2005.
The second leg of the qualifying play-off was played in front of a crowd of 82,698 at Stadium Australia. Australia led Uruguay 1–0 after 90 minutes following a goal by Mark Bresciano in the first half; the aggregate was tied, extra time was played. Neither team scored after two periods of extra time. Australia won the penalty shootout, making Australia the first team to qualify for a World Cup via a penalty shootout. Australian goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer made two saves, with John Aloisi scoring the winning penalty for a place in the World Cup, Australia's first qualification in 32 years. Australia went into the 2006 World Cup as the second lowest-ranked side. Although their ranking vastly improved in subsequent months after a series of exhibition matches against high-profile teams, including a 1–1 draw against the Netherlands, a 1–0 win at the sold out 100,000 capacity Melbourne Cricket Ground against the European Champions Greece. For the 2006 World Cup, Australia was placed into Group F, along with Japan and defending champions Brazil.
In their opening group game, Australia defeated Japan 3–1, with Ti
Huish Park is a football stadium located in Yeovil, England. The stadium has been home to Yeovil Town F. C. since its completion in 1990, following their relocation from Huish. Huish Park has a capacity of 9,565 with terraces behind each of the goals. In January 1985, Yeovil started negotiations to sell the Huish Athletic Ground and move to a new stadium in the Houndstone area of Yeovil on the site of an old army camp. Negotiations commenced between the club and Bartlett Construction regarding moving from Huish to a new site at Houndstone Camp, with the first meeting taking place on 12 November 1985 when an offer of £1.3m was made for the Huish site. Following further meetings and more detailed plans being studied the offer was raised to over £2m early in 1986, when the directors agreed in principle for the move to go ahead. A company, Collier & Madge, who specialised in buying and selling supermarket sites was engaged to advise the club and to ensure the best possible price was obtained. On 15 December 1986 the club was informed by its advisors and Madge, that the offer of £2.4m now on the table was about as much as they could hope to receive.
It was revealed that the new proposed site for the club was 20.75 acres of freehold land at Houndstone Camp with a further 4.2 acres being made available on a 999-year lease. The directors agreed in principle to the deal and Tesco were insisting that contracts should be exchanged by the end of March 1987 with the building contractors having vacant possession by July 1988. Further discussions took place with South Somerset District Council regarding developing the new site for recreational use, they set aside money to purchase the land. At an extraordinary general meeting held on 25 August 1987, shareholders gave the go-ahead to "conclude negotiations with F. R. Bartlett Limited for the sale of Huish and to negotiate the development of the Houndstone site"; the voting was 14,431 for and 1,356 against, giving a majority of 13,075, representing 91% in favour. On 15 September 1987, the Public Inquiry began, to delay the proposed move for a long time. On 21 March 1989, after a wait of just over 20 months, the result of the Public Inquiry was made known.
The Department of the Environment granted planning permission to develop Huish, therefore the move to Houndstone was now on. The first work at the new ground got underway in May 1989. A month it was revealed that the cost of the new development had risen to £3.5m and that Bartletts had come forward with a further £400,000 bringing the total for the sale of Huish to £2.8m. On Sunday 1 April 1990, over 500 supporters viewed the new stadium at Houndstone, it was announced the new stadium would be called Huish Park; the new Huish Park Stadium was opened with a friendly against Newcastle United on 4 August 1990, ending in a 2–1 defeat in front of a crowd of 5,093. The first competitive match followed on 18 August 1990 with a Football Conference match against Colchester United, the 2–0 win for Yeovil resulted in Mickey Spencer scoring Yeovil's first competitive goal at the new ground; the first season at the new ground resulted in an average attendance of 2,639, an increase of 17.6%, the season finished with an U18 international match between England and Wales attracting a bumper 6,153 crowd.
The 1999–2000 season saw a proposal for the erection of a roof over the home terrace. The work took place in early 2001, with the roof being completed for the match against Rushden & Diamonds with a record crowd of 8,868. Following Yeovil's promotion to the Football League, crowds increased by 30% to an average of 6,197 in the 2003–04 season, on 25 April 2008 Yeovil's match against Leeds United saw the record attendance at the ground of 9,527; the ground is made up of four stands: Tamburino Stand, is a cantilevered covered single tiered stand, all-seated. The stand has executive boxes running across its back and bar areas, the dug outs and players' tunnel, a small simple electric scoreboard, it houses the ticket office and club shop. Screwfix Community similar to the Main Stand in style with a Press Box beneath its roof. Thatchers Gold Stand, similar style covered cantilevered terrace for home fans. Radio Cabs Stand, smaller uncovered terrace with a large electric scoreboard behind; the five highest attendances at Huish Park are: Source: The stadium has been used for the following international games: 22 May 1991 England U18 Vs Wales U18 17 May 1992 England women Vs Iceland women 16 November 1993 England U18 Vs France U18 23 April 1996 England U18 Vs Scotland U18 15 September 1999 England women Vs France women 24 April 2002 England Semi-Pro Vs Netherlands Semi-Pro 27 March 2007 England U18 Vs Netherlands U18 15 October 2009 England U16 Vs Wales U16 25 March 2011 England Schools U16 Vs Wales Schools U16 20 November 2014 England U16 Vs Scotland U16 In March 2011, Yeovil Town announced plans for a 3,500 seat stand to replace the current Away Terrace, in conjunction with the training pitches being redeveloped into retail land creating over 300 jobs in partnership with Chris Dawson, owner of the Range Home and Leisure.
Following public consultation in late-November 2011 the plans for a new stand have dropped off the agenda with the retail development continuing as a new food store. Huish Park at official Yeovil FC site Footballground Guide Article Stadium pictures
Maitland Football Club known as Maitland FC, or as Maitland, is an Australian semi-professional soccer club based in East Maitland, a suburb of Maitland, New South Wales. In 2014, Maitland FC were premiers in the Northern NSW State League Division 1, the second tier of football in the Northern NSW Federation and the third tier of football in the Australian football system; the premiership resulted in Maitland being promoted back to the top tier of Northern NSW Football, now known as National Premier Leagues Northern NSW, for the first time since 2002. Maitland capped off a successful 2014 by winning the Grand Final 3–1 against Valentine FC in extra time. Maitland maintained their Premier League status after finishing fifth in 2015. Ben Martin was the highest goal scorer in the league in 2013 with 30 goals. In 2014, he was again the highest goal scorer with 24 goals. Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Northern NSW Division One Premiers: 1980 Champions: 1980Northern NSW State League Division 1 Premiers: 2014 Champions: 2009, 2014 Maitland FC website
Australia the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area; the neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea and East Timor to the north. The population of 25 million is urbanised and concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, its largest city is Sydney; the country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians for about 60,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century, it is documented. After the European exploration of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, who named it New Holland, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia's national day; the population grew in subsequent decades, by the 1850s most of the continent had been explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established.
On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising six states and ten territories. Being the oldest and driest inhabited continent, with the least fertile soils, Australia has a landmass of 7,617,930 square kilometres. A megadiverse country, its size gives it a wide variety of landscapes, with deserts in the centre, tropical rainforests in the north-east and mountain ranges in the south-east. A gold rush began in Australia in the early 1850s, its population density, 2.8 inhabitants per square kilometre, remains among the lowest in the world. Australia generates its income from various sources including mining-related exports, telecommunications and manufacturing. Indigenous Australian rock art is the oldest and richest in the world, dating as far back as 60,000 years and spread across hundreds of thousands of sites. Australia is a developed country, with the world's 14th-largest economy.
It has a high-income economy, with the world's tenth-highest per capita income. It is a regional power, has the world's 13th-highest military expenditure. Australia has the world's ninth-largest immigrant population, with immigrants accounting for 26% of the population. Having the third-highest human development index and the eighth-highest ranked democracy globally, the country ranks in quality of life, education, economic freedom, civil liberties and political rights, with all its major cities faring well in global comparative livability surveys. Australia is a member of the United Nations, G20, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, World Trade Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Pacific Islands Forum and the ASEAN Plus Six mechanism; the name Australia is derived from the Latin Terra Australis, a name used for a hypothetical continent in the Southern Hemisphere since ancient times. When Europeans first began visiting and mapping Australia in the 17th century, the name Terra Australis was applied to the new territories.
Until the early 19th century, Australia was best known as "New Holland", a name first applied by the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman in 1644 and subsequently anglicised. Terra Australis still saw occasional usage, such as in scientific texts; the name Australia was popularised by the explorer Matthew Flinders, who said it was "more agreeable to the ear, an assimilation to the names of the other great portions of the earth". The first time that Australia appears to have been used was in April 1817, when Governor Lachlan Macquarie acknowledged the receipt of Flinders' charts of Australia from Lord Bathurst. In December 1817, Macquarie recommended to the Colonial Office. In 1824, the Admiralty agreed that the continent should be known by that name; the first official published use of the new name came with the publication in 1830 of The Australia Directory by the Hydrographic Office. Colloquial names for Australia include "Oz" and "the Land Down Under". Other epithets include "the Great Southern Land", "the Lucky Country", "the Sunburnt Country", "the Wide Brown Land".
The latter two both derive from Dorothea Mackellar's 1908 poem "My Country". Human habitation of the Australian continent is estimated to have begun around 65,000 to 70,000 years ago, with the migration of people by land bridges and short sea-crossings from what is now Southeast Asia; these first inhabitants were the ancestors of modern Indigenous Australians. Aboriginal Australian culture is one of the oldest continual civilisations on earth. At the time of first European contact, most Indigenous Australians were hunter-gatherers with complex economies and societies. Recent archaeological finds suggest. Indigenous Australians have an oral culture with spiritual values based on reverence for the land and a belief in the Dreamtime; the Torres Strait Islanders, ethnically Melanesian, obtained their livelihood from seasonal horticulture and the resources of their reefs and seas. The northern coasts and waters of Australia were visited s
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