Attack the key for the Mariners’ new coach


Hold on to fans of the Central Coast A-League Men, coach Nick Montgomery promises bold style to ensure the Mariners’ 2020-21 campaign isn’t just a flash in the pan.

After a miserable race that included four wooden spoon finishes in five seasons, the Mariners were one of the revelations of the past campaign as Alen Stajcic guided them to third place and a first final appearance since 2014.

The pride in this achievement was somewhat dampened by a 2-0 loss to Macarthur in the final and Stajcic’s unexpected exit a few days later.

Montgomery, a former Mariners player who played a pivotal role in the club’s academy by bringing talents such as Alou Kuol, Dan Hall, Jordan Smylie and Max Balard to the first team, was named as a replacement for Stajcic in July.

After earning his UEFA Professional License Coaching Certificate during the COVID-19 lockdown, the Mariners’ post will be the first senior coaching post for Montgomery, who has made more than 300 appearances for Sheffield United during of his playing career.

However, the Englishman is not shy about building on Stajcic’s transformational work at the Mariners, arguing that it gives him a platform to bring the club back to its glory days in the late 2000s and into the in the early 2010s, when they twice won the Premiers’ Plaque and the 2013 Grand Final.

“When you’re a coach you don’t want to take away the good things they had last year and it was that unity and that team spirit, but I want to play exciting and attacking football,” Montgomery said. at AAP.

“Looking at the full-backs we had last year, (Mark) Birighetti is a fantastic goalie, Kai Rowles, Ruon Tongyik, young players – Lewis Miller, Dan Hall and a few others.

“Before that, I think it’s no surprise that we were one of the worst scorers in the league.

“That’s one area, when you look at the performance of last season, is that we have to score more goals and if you score goals you have the opportunity to win football games.

“This is something that I have worked very hard on.

“For me this is an opportunity to build on last season and hopefully push the club into the future.”

Smylie is one of many players who left Gosford in the offseason, along with Kuol for Germany, attacking midfielder Danny De Silva, Socceroos prospect Gianni Stensness and fullback Jack Clisby.

Montgomery signed French forward Beni Nkololo and experienced German Nicolai Muller after the Western Sydney Wanderers midfielder exited, while New Zealand international Storm Roux returns to the club.

Costa Rican international Marco Urena has signed a new two-year contract after impressing during his debut campaign in Australia last season.

“I doubt the league will be more difficult this season, which is why I have worked very hard to put together a team that I believe will be competitive against everyone in the league,” said Montgomery.

“Look at the visa players. Marcos Urena, he’s been in the World Cups, the best striker and I think everyone saw him around the second half of the season when he got back into shape.

“Nikolai, top player, best human too. Experienced, he played in the Bundesliga and also played internationally.

“In order for us to succeed in bringing players of this caliber to the Mariners, they come for the love of football.

“We don’t have the luxury of offering the salaries elsewhere, so the fact that they came here… I spoke to them and explained to them my vision for this season and the future of the club and they have it. immediately joined. “


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