Gladesville Hornsby Football Association Spirit FC
Gladesville Hornsby Football Association Spirit FC is an Australian football club. It was the successor of the defunct Northern Spirit FC, a semi professional soccer club based in North Sydney, New South Wales. Northern Spirit entered the National Soccer League in the 1998–99 season, its founding was inspired in part by the success Perth Glory was enjoying as a mainstream club, as well as an opportunity to tap into the unrepresented northern suburbs of Sydney. On the field, the club had early success in the National Soccer League, reaching the finals in its first attempt, but the next two seasons were not nearly as successful, the club finishing 13th in both of them; the club recovered somewhat to finish mid-table in its last 3 seasons, but only managed to make the finals once more, in 2002/03. During Northern Spirit's first season Crystal Palace owner Mark Goldberg bought a 31 per cent stake in the club and secured an option for a further 35 per cent. Beset by Palace's financial problems, he relinquished his option to a group of players and coaches including Graham Arnold, Robbie Slater and Ian Crook.
The club was owned by Rangers for a small period of time. Rangers temporarily changed the club's home colours to their own royal blue. Northern Spirit's home games were played at North Sydney Oval and their first league home game attracted a Australian club football record crowd of 18,985 a record which stood until 2005 when it was broken by Queensland Roar crowd of 20,725. In the club's final season, Chairman Antonio Gelonesi decided to move the club to Pittwater Park, on Sydney's Northern Beaches; the decision was motivated by money, with North Sydney Oval not drawing enough people to make a profit. The 23,000 capacity Brookvale Oval, a rectangular rugby league venue, located halfway between North Sydney Oval and Pittwater Park, was considered as a possibility for the new home but was overlooked by the Spirit. After enduring financial problems for much of its existence, the club folded after the 2003/2004 NSL season; the former youth teams of Northern Spirit were assembled into the new Gladesville-Hornsby Football Association, nicknamed Spirit FC, in 2004.
The GHFA has its homeground at Christie Park in New South Wales. In 2007, won the NSW State League Division 1 premiership, but were not selected to be promoted. In 2008, they again won the State League Division 1 and this time were promoted to the Super League for 2009. In 2013, Football NSW incorporated the National Premier Leagues structure to their competition. GHFA Spirit FC were selected along with 11 other teams to join the new second division of football in NSW; the 2015 season saw Spirit FC crowned premiers of the NPL NSW 2, however due to NSW's promotion criteria, were not eligible. Lawrie McKinna Graham Arnold OZ Football club profile
2006–07 in English football
The 2006–07 season was the 127th season of competitive association football in England. Manchester United regain the league title for the first time in four years, overcoming a stiff challenge from defending champions Chelsea to be crowned Premier League victors for the 9th time in 16 seasons The number of divisions at Level 8 of the English football league system increased from four to five. Level 9 decreased from fifteen divisions to fourteen. Wembley Stadium was completed to host the FA Cup Final, however it was not ready for the national team's first three 2008 UEFA European Football Championship home qualifiers; the three matches were played at Old Trafford in Manchester. Arsenal moved into the 60,000-capacity Emirates Stadium. Emirates became the club's shirt sponsor. Following promotion from the Championship, Reading played in the Premiership and the "top flight" of English football for the first time in their 135-year history and won their first game, coming back from 0–2 down to beat Middlesbrough 3–2.
They went on to finish 8th. Accrington Stanley played in the Football League for the first time; the previous club of the same name dissolved with massive debts and in 1962 became the first club to leave the Football League mid-season. Oxford United played in the Conference National after being relegated from the Football League, they are the first former winners of a major trophy to play at this level, having won the League Cup in 1986. 22 June 2006 – Fixtures for the Premier League and the Football League are released. 30 June 2006 – Rupert Lowe resigns from Southampton. Michael Wilde's consortium takes control of the club. 27 July 2006 – A consortium led by Niall Quinn takes full control of Sunderland after buying out the former chairman Bob Murray. 1 August 2006 – Steve McClaren begins his job as England manager. 2 August 2006 – Leeds United chairman Ken Bates reports his former club Chelsea to The Football Association, Premier League and FIFA over the alleged'tapping-up' of three Leeds youth team players.
5 August 2006 – The Football League season begins, with Luton Town beating Leicester City 2–0 in the first game. 8 August 2006 – The 500,000th goal in the history of English league football was scored by Huddersfield Town's Gary Taylor-Fletcher in their 3–0 victory over Rotherham United. 10 August 2006 – John Terry is appointed as the new captain of England. 12 August 2006 – The Football Conference begins, along with most other non-league campaigns. 13 August 2006 – Liverpool take the first silverware of the season, as they beat Chelsea 2–1 in the FA Community Shield at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. 19 August 2006 – The Premier League season begins with Sheffield United and Liverpool drawing 1–1. 23 August 2006 – Manchester City defender Ben Thatcher elbows Portsmouth's Pedro Mendes in the face at the City of Manchester Stadium, after the two challenged for the same ball. This left Mendes unconscious and needing hospital treatment. Thatcher was shown a yellow card for the incident, but he was banned by his club and charged with violent misconduct by The FA.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær scores his first competitive goal in more than three years in Manchester United's 3–0 away league win over Charlton Athletic. 31 August 2006 – Chelsea are fined £40,000 by The FA for breaching doping regulations. 31 August 2006: August ends with last season's runners-up Manchester United top of the Premiership with three wins out of three. Portsmouth, Aston Villa, Chelsea, West Ham United and Liverpool complete the top seven. Watford, Sheffield United and Blackburn Rovers prop up the table with one point each from their opening three matches, with Arsenal only above the relegation zone on goal difference. Cardiff City lead the Championship, with Norwich City, Crystal Palace, Birmingham City and Wolverhampton Wanderers all three points behind the Welsh club and Burnley completing the top six, ahead of Plymouth Argyle and West Bromwich Albion on goal difference. Sunderland, despite playing in a lower division, have failed to turn around their poor form from the previous season and stand in the Championship drop zone, sandwiched by Colchester United and Hull City.
4 September 2006 – Andy Webster's controversial move to Wigan Athletic is ratified by FIFA. 8 September 2006 – Liverpool get permission from Liverpool city council to build a new 60,000 all-seater stadium in nearby Stanley Park. 18 September 2006 – Bryan Robson is sacked after less than two years as manager of West Bromwich Albion. 19 September 2006 – After becoming majority shareholder at the club, Randy Lerner becomes chairman of Aston Villa, replacing 82-year-old Doug Ellis. A BBC Panorama programme is aired. 30 September 2006 – September ends with reigning champions Chelsea top of the Premiership. Bolton Wanderers are keeping up their push for a European place, being only two points behind in second place. Manchester United, Everton, Aston Villa and Arsenal complete the top seven, with Tottenham Hotspur and Charlton Athletic in the relegation zone. Cardiff have extended their lead in the Championship to five points, ahead of Birmingham. Preston North End, Crystal Palace and West Brom stand in the play-off places and Southend United, Hull City and Sheffield Wednesday in the relegation zone.
1 October 2006 – Norwich City, 17th in the Championship, sack manager Nigel Worthington after nearly six years in charge. 14 October 2006 – Chelsea goalkeepers, Petr Čech and Carlo Cudicini, both received head injuries during their match against Reading. Čech underwent surgery for a depressed skull fracture and is expected to be out for six months, while Cudicini was treated and released. 16 October 2006 – Norwich City appoint West Ham United a
David Adam Stockdale is an English professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Birmingham City of the Championship. Stockdale started his career with the Huddersfield Town youth system before joining York City's youth system in 2000, where he became a trainee in 2002, he made his first team debut on the last day of the 2002–03 season. He established himself in the team during 2004–05 and in 2006, following loan spells at Wakefield-Emley and Worksop Town, was released by the club, he moved in his second season with the club played in the play-offs. He signed for Premier League club Fulham for an undisclosed fee in 2008, but never became a regular, spent several spells on loan to Football League clubs, he joined Brighton & Hove Albion of the Championship in 2014, helped them win promotion to the Premier League in his third season with the club. He turned down a new contract with Brighton, signed for Birmingham City in 2017. In the 2018–19 season, he spent short spells on loan at Southend United, Wycombe Wanderers and Coventry City.
He remains uncapped. Born in Leeds, West Yorkshire, Stockdale played for the Huddersfield Town youth system before joining the York City youth system in 2000 and was promoted from the under-16 team to the under-19 team for a match against Bradford City in October 2001, he was offered a scholarship by the club in February 2002 to become a first-year trainee for the 2002–03 season. By March 2003 he had established himself as the York first team's number two goalkeeper, having ousted John Collinson, he made his debut for York as a 17-year-old when coming on as a 46th-minute substitute for Michael Ingham in the last match of 2002–03, which the team lost 2–0 at Oxford United on 3 May 2003. Stockdale's first appearance of 2004–05 came as a 20th-minute substitute for Chris Porter in a 1–0 defeat to Accrington Stanley on 31 August 2004. After playing 19 successive matches from August to December, he was dropped by caretaker manager Viv Busby. Despite this, he stated his determination at earning a new contract with York.
After discussing his future at York with manager Billy McEwan he was offered a one-year professional contract in April 2005. He stalled on this contract offer and McEwan criticised him, saying "He's a young apprentice getting his first professional contract and the last thing in his mind should be money; that should be of secondary importance and he should be grateful York City are offering him a contract". He was ruled out of most of York's pre-season schedule after breaking a bone in his foot in July. Contract talks between Stockdale and York progressed and on 9 August he signed on for the club. Stockdale made a loan move to Northern Premier League Premier Division club Wakefield-Emley in September and made his debut in a 1–0 victory over Gateshead. After making seven appearances for Wakefield-Emley he returned to York in October and was rewarded with a place on the bench for the team's match against Canvey Island. Having lost his place on the bench to teenager Arran Reid he signed for Conference North club Worksop Town on 1 March 2006, after McEwan questioned his commitment to the club.
He made his debut in a 1–1 draw with Vauxhall Motors on 14 March and the loan was extended for a second month in April. Stockdale made six appearances for Worksop, he was released by York at the end of 2005–06, after being publicly criticised by McEwan about his weight. Stockdale joined League Two club Darlington on a one-year contract on 1 August 2006 after impressing in a period on trial in pre-season, he made eight appearances in 2006–07, when first-choice goalkeeper Andy Oakes was sent off in the opening match of 2007–08, Stockdale took over and became manager Dave Penney's preferred choice in goal. Stockdale was rewarded with a new contract in November 2007, went on to make over 40 appearances for Darlington in 2007–08. Stockdale was scouted by Premier League clubs including Birmingham City and Newcastle United before, in April 2008, Darlington accepted a bid from Fulham, he remained with Darlington until the end of the season, won the club's Player of the Year award, played in the play-offs, in which they lost 5–4 in a penalty shoot-out to Rochdale in the semi-final after the matches had ended 3–3 on aggregate.
Stockdale completed his move to Fulham on 4 June 2008 on a two-year contract. He returned to League Two after joining Rotherham United on a one-month loan on 21 November, he made his debut a day in a 2–0 defeat to Bradford City, in his next match, a 1–1 draw away at Exeter City, he saved a Ben Watson penalty and made a late save from a Ryan Harley header. The loan deal was extended for a further month, he finished the spell with eight appearances, all in league competition. On 2 March 2009, Stockdale joined League One club Leicester City on a one-month loan as cover for senior goalkeepers David Martin and Paul Henderson after previous loanee Mark Bunn was recalled by parent club Blackburn Rovers, he made his debut in Leicester's 1–1 draw with Stockport County the next day. He picked up a shoulder injury, which led to Leicester signing Tony Warner on loan. Stockdale extended his loan at Leicester until the end of the season on 6 April, he played for Leicester as their promotion to the Championship as League One champions was confirmed after a 2–0 victory over Southend United, after which he said he would be interested in joining the club for the following season.
Stockdale made his Fulham debut on 13 September 2009 in a 2–1 victory at home to Everton. Stockdale was Fulham's number two goalkeeper for the team's UEFA Europa League campaign.
Benjamin Robert Alnwick is an English professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for EFL Championship club Bolton Wanderers. Alnwick started his career at Sunderland in 2004, having progressed through the club's youth ranks, but never established himself in the first team, he left for Tottenham Hotspur in January 2007, having made 19 league appearances, but never made more than a single league appearance for Tottenham. Instead, he spent several loan spells away from the club, at Luton Town, Leicester City, Carlisle United, Norwich City, Leeds United, Doncaster Rovers and Leyton Orient, he switched permanently to Barnsley in July 2012, made 12 appearances, but was deemed surplus to requirements in September 2013, his contract was terminated by mutual consent. Alnwick has represented England at under-16, under-16, under-17, under-18, under-19 and under-21 levels. Alnwick was born in the small Northumberland town of Prudhoe, he spent his boyhood years playing for the Prudhoe youth side. He started his professional career at Sunderland, came to prominence at the climax of their 2004–05 Football League Championship-winning season, replacing the injured Thomas Myhre for Sunderland's last three games.
His performances against Leicester City and West Ham United, the games that won Sunderland promotion to the Premier League and Championship win were impressive. In November 2005, he spent a stint as the number one goalkeeper at Sunderland, replacing Kelvin Davis. Despite impressing in Sunderland's 3–2 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur where he made a penalty save from Robbie Keane, Alnwick was dropped in favour of Kelvin Davis. After the departure of Davis to Southampton, Alnwick was given the number 1 shirt for the 2006–07 season. After a disappointing start to the season 2006–07 season, Alnwick was relegated to the substitutes bench in favour of Darren Ward by new boss Roy Keane. Just two days after the January 2007 transfer window had opened, Alnwick joined Tottenham Hotspur for a fee of £900,000 in a deal that could rise to £1.3 million and saw Márton Fülöp going the other way for £500,000. In September 2007 he was loaned to League One side Luton Town on a three-month loan deal, he was recalled from Luton in October, due to an injury to Paul Robinson.
However, on 7 January 2008, Alnwick joined Leicester City on loan until the end of the season. Alnwick made his league debut in an M69 Derby on 12 January, keeping a clean sheet as Leicester won 2–0 at the Walkers Stadium, he kept four clean sheets in eight league games, conceding six goals before suffering a thigh injury as Leicester were relegated from the Championship. On 16 October 2008, Alnwick joined League One side Carlisle United on an initial one-month loan deal and was recalled by Tottenham after the one-month loan ended to become another serious option for the first team goal-keeper position. Alnwick made his debut for Tottenham in a League Cup semi-final second leg against Burnley, which ended in a 3–2 loss, although Tottenham won 6–4 on aggregate. In July 2009, he signed on loan at Norwich City for three months. Alnwick made his debut in the 4–0 win over Yeovil Town and kept a clean sheet, he returned to Tottenham on 5 September after picking up a hip injury, expected to keep him out for six weeks.
His first Premier League game for Tottenham was at Burnley on the final day of the 2009-10 season, 9 May. On 14 October 2010 Alnwick joined Leeds United on loan for 28 days. Alnwick was named on the bench against Leicester City. Alnwick moved to Doncaster Rovers on 4 March 2011 and stayed until 9 April 2011 after their goalkeeper Neil Sullivan became injured, he was an unused sub in games against Coventry City. In the year, he made eight appearances on loan for Leyton Orient. On 4 July 2012, Alnwick moved to Barnsley on a two-year contract. Alnwick made his Barnsley début on 11 August 2012 in a League Cup tie away at Rochdale. With Barnsley leading 2-1 at 90 mins Alnwick was sent off; the penalty was subsequently scored moving the game into extra game. However Barnsley went on to win regardless. On 28 August 2012, he returned to action in the following league cup tie in a 3-1 away defeat to Swansea. Alnwick played his first Championship match of the season in a 1-0 victory over Bristol City on 1 September 2012.
However, after the signings of Mike Pollitt and Christian Dibble, Alnwick's contract was terminated by mutual consent on 2 September 2013. On 4 September 2013, Alnwick signed a one-year contract for Charlton Athletic, he made his debut in a game against Doncaster Rovers. He managed to keep a clean sheet in a game that Charlton won 2-0. On 31 January 2014, Alnwick joined Leyton Orient. However, a week it was announced that Alnwick was suffering from unspecified medical problems, was unable to train or play. On 24 March 2014, Alnwick left Leyton Orient by mutual consent after having his contract cancelled. On 25 July 2014, Alnwick signed a three-year deal at Peterborough United. On 29 August 2016, Peterborough United placed Alnwick on the transfer list; the 29-year old informed manager Grant McCann that he wished to go on the list for personal reasons. Two days club chairman Darragh MacAnthony announced that the club had accepted Alnwick's request for his contract to be cancelled. On the same day he left Peterborough, it was confirmed that Alnwick had moved to fellow Football League One side Bolton Wanderers on a Free Transfer to offer competition for Mark Howard.
On 4 May 2018, it was announced that Alnwick had been named the Bolton Wanderers Player of the Year by the club's supporters. Alnwick received his first call-up to the England under-21 squad ahead of the 15 August 2006 match against
Milton Keynes Dons F.C.
Milton Keynes Dons Football Club abbreviated to MK Dons, is a professional association football club based in Milton Keynes, England. The team compete in League Two, the fourth tier of the English football league system, following relegation from League One at the end of the 2017–18 season; the club was founded in 2004, following Wimbledon F. C.'s controversial relocation to Milton Keynes from south London, when it adopted its present name and home colours. Based at the National Hockey Stadium, the club competed as Milton Keynes Dons from the start of the 2004–05 season. After two seasons in League One, they were relegated to League Two in 2006; the club moved to their current ground, Stadium MK, for the 2007–08 season, in which they won the League Two title and the Football League Trophy under the management of Paul Ince. After seven further seasons in League One, the club won promotion to the Championship in 2015 under the management of Karl Robinson. Milton Keynes Dons have built a reputation for youth development, run 16 disability teams and their football trust engages around 60,000 people.
The club runs a women's association football side, Milton Keynes Dons L. F. C. Milton Keynes, about 45 miles north-west of London in Buckinghamshire, was established as a new town in 1967. In the absence of a professional football club representing the town—none of the local non-league teams progressed through the English football league system or "pyramid" over the following decades—it was suggested that a Football League club might relocate there. There was no precedent in English league football for such a move between conurbations and the football authorities and most fans expressed strong opposition to the idea. Charlton Athletic mooted moving to "a progressive Midlands borough" during a planning dispute with their local council in 1973, the relocation of nearby Luton Town to Milton Keynes was suggested from the 1980s onwards. Another team linked with the new town was Wimbledon Football Club. Wimbledon, established in south London in 1889 and nicknamed "the Dons", were elected to the Football League in 1977.
They thereafter went through a "fairytale" rise from obscurity and by the end of the 1980s were established in the top division of English football. Despite Wimbledon's new prominence, the club's modest home stadium at Plough Lane remained unchanged from its non-league days; the club's then-owner Ron Noades identified this as a problem as early as 1979, extending his dissatisfaction to the ground's location. Interested in the stadium site designated by the Milton Keynes Development Corporation, Noades planned to move Wimbledon there by merging with a non-league club in Milton Keynes, bought debt-ridden Milton Keynes City. However, Noades decided that the club would not gain sufficient support in Milton Keynes and abandoned the idea. In 1991, after the Taylor Report was published recommending the redevelopment of English football grounds, Wimbledon left Plough Lane to groundshare at Crystal Palace's ground, Selhurst Park, about 6 miles away. Sam Hammam, who owned Wimbledon, said the club could not afford to redevelop Plough Lane and that the groundshare was a temporary arrangement while a new ground was sourced in south-west London.
A new stadium for Wimbledon proved difficult to achieve. Frustrated by what he perceived as a lack of support from Merton Council, Hammam began to look further afield and by 1996 was pursuing a move to Dublin, an idea that most Wimbledon fans opposed. Hammam sold the club to two Norwegian businessmen, Kjell Inge Røkke and Bjørn Rune Gjelsten, in 1997, a year sold Plough Lane to Safeway supermarkets. Wimbledon were relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 1999–2000 season. Starting in 2000, a consortium led by music promoter Pete Winkelman and supported by Asda and IKEA proposed a large retail development in Milton Keynes including a Football League-standard stadium; the consortium proposed. In 2001 Røkke and Gjelsten appointed a new chairman, Charles Koppel, in favour of this idea, saying it was necessary to stop the club going out of business. To the fury of most Wimbledon fans, Koppel announced on 2 August 2001 that the club intended to relocate to Milton Keynes. After the Football League refused permission, Wimbledon launched an appeal, leading to a Football Association arbitration hearing and subsequently the appointment of a three-man independent commission to make a final and binding verdict.
The league and FA stated opposition but the commissioners ruled in favour, two to one, on 28 May 2002. Having campaigned against the move, a group of disaffected Wimbledon fans reacted to this in June 2002 by forming their own non-league club, AFC Wimbledon, to which most of the original team's support defected. AFC Wimbledon entered a groundshare agreement with Kingstonian in the borough of Kingston upon Thames, adjacent to Merton; the original Wimbledon intended to move to Milton Keynes but were unable to do so until a temporary home in the town meeting Football League criteria could be found. The club in June 2003 went into administration. With the move threatened and the club facing liquidation, Winkelman decided to buy it himself, he secured funding f
Justin Pasfield is an Australian professional goalkeeper who plays for Wollongong Wolves in the National Premier Leagues NSW. He was part of the Joeys squad for the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship in the Netherlands, played for Bray Wanderers in the League of Ireland, Wollongong Wolves in the National Soccer League and Central Coast Mariners in the A-League. Pasfield was understudy to Clint Bolton at Sydney FC in the A-League during the 2005–06 and 2006–07 seasons, but failed to take the pitch in a competitive match, he joined NSWPL club Sydney United on loan during Sydney FC's AFC Champions League 2007 campaign, the move made permanent at the close of the group stage when he was released from the A-League side. Seeking a return to the top flight, he trialled at Newcastle Jets, was named as a backup to first choice Ante Čović for the Jets A-League Pre-season Cup games, he has been training with Queen's Park Rangers in the Championship alongside veteran Australian goalkeeper, Mark Bosnich.
On 4 December, he signed a six-week short-term deal with the Newcastle Jets, replacing the injured Ben Kennedy. In 2009 Pasfield has joined North Queensland Fury. Thanks to FFA dragging its feet with the decision on what amount of the clubs annual losses it is willing to fund, Pasfield decided to move onto the Central Coast Mariners at the end of the 2010/11 season, bringing to an end his time at the Fury, where he has become one of the crowd favourites; as of 17 February 2014CS = Clean Sheets 1 - Includes FIFA Club World Cup statistics.
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