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Mariner stuff not worthy of a whole thread


Well-Known Member
What a rollercoaster following this team is.

On the short term scale of a week...
-> Finish the season 3rd and looking like contenders in the finals race

-> Bowing out first round (but proud nonetheless, can still salute the team)

-> Coach who is a big chance at coach of the season and credited with this amazing turnaround: quits, taking his assistant with him

-> Players start to confirm they're leaving, with only a few even signed on for next season. Looks like a mass unraveling is set to beginning

-> Ken confirms the culture is solid and the players are majority keen to stay and improve further

-> key player signings start being announced keeping the spine and core of the team intact (so far)

-> somehow we're spoiled for choice with coach options matched to our unique requirements. Better, these are the very coaches that laid the foundations for the successful A-League youth prospects in the first place and the systems that will keep producing them

Then, on the long term scale of years...
this rollercoaster of a club can go from the highest of highs (premiers, developing the next Socceroos, multiple grand finals) to the lowest of lows (4 spoons in 5 years, 8-2 scorelines) - moving on...

Throw in some left of field stuff like taking on Usain Bolt, putting on the regions carols and fireworks for a council that steals their plans for the stadium and presents them as their own, having a cannon and using it, plus about a thousand things more.

You have to admit it - CCM is never a boring side to follow
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That's a good read and the second time he has mentioned Ruon as part of the team (this one he mentioned him as part of the core group of senior players) so hopefully now that's a pretty clear indication of Ruon hanging around. Maybe waiting to announce until after this issue which lead to him dropping out of the Olympic team has been resolved?

Pirate Pete

Well-Known Member

It's now been just over three years since Usain Bolt began training with A-League side Central Coast Mariners in pursuit of becoming a professional footballer.

After retiring from athletics, Bolt touched down in Gosford in August 2018 and spent two months with the club in a spectacle that gained worldwide attention.

Australian football agent Tony Rallis was the man behind Bolt's stint Down Under which ultimately generated an estimated $22 million in media coverage.

The eye-catching trial was born out of a chance conversation that saw Rallis set his sights on bringing the world's fastest man to Australia.

"There was a mate of mine on the radio show Soccer Stoppage Time and he said to me, 'Wouldn’t it be great to test Bolt and see how good he is?’" Rallis told Sporting News.

"I took that on board, didn’t say anything to him, reached out to Bolt’s management at the time and told them how it would help promote the A-League.

"Bolt also wanted a league that would take him seriously as a player and it materialised from that."

Following a lean few years on the pitch, it was the Mariners that stepped up and offered Bolt a trial.

While coach Mike Mulvey was often coy about the whole thing, the club's CEO Shaun Mielekamp saw a gamble worth taking.

"They were risk takers. Shaun Mielekamp tries to think outside of the square because he has to," Rallis said.

"Real estate developers should be indebted to the Mariners because it put Central Coast on the map."

Bolt's first open training session attracted a swarm of media with the speedster lacking a bit of fitness as he trotted up and down a picturesque pitch surrounding by palm trees.

Just over a week later, he featured in an underwhelming friendly match against a Central Coast Select team before well and truly grabbing headlines a month later in a more memorable outing.

Lining up for the Mariners against an assortment of players from the Macarthur region, Bolt shocked the world by bagging two goals and unleashing his trademark lightning bolt celebration.

Despite his strikes, it was clear Bolt still had plenty to learn on the football field, but having caused such a stir off the pitch, the Mariners decided to hand him a modest contract offer.

Without the support of Football Federation Australia (FFA) at the time, however, Central Coast simply couldn't offer Bolt enough to stick around with the sprinter quietly parting ways with the club in November 2018.

"I told the FFA at the time, half of them were interested and the more senior management sort of laughed it off. There was no engagement," Rallis said.

"I remember Mielekamp telling me he couldn’t get a seat at Bolt’s press conference yet none of the senior FFA management were present.

"They didn’t see the opportunity, didn’t pay for it and didn’t provide an infrastructure for it that could have allowed us to do so much more. The FFA didn’t come to the party with marquee funding - they'd spent it all on Keisuke Honda."

While Bolt's time on the Central Coast was arguably over too quickly, the trial itself was a valuable marketing exercise for a competition that has struggled for mainstream attention.

"Commercially we know an independent body valued it at $22 million in media coverage for the A-League," Rallis said. "It was obviously great for our league. It put the A-League on the map."

As for Bolt, he would never fulfil his professional football dreams but those two months with the Mariners are sure to live long in his and many football fan's memories.

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