After a season of waiting for the penny to drop, Mariners head coach Tony Walmsley has conceded that his wooden spoon team has some work to do in recruitment.

Despite having a near-full squad to choose from (with only Storm Roux and Alastair Bray unavailable for selection), the Mariners flailed in defence for most of the game, going down 4-2 to the Newcastle Jets at Central Coast Stadium on Saturday night.

“We didn’t defend well enough, so it could have been worse” Walmsley said.

Mariners goalie Paul Izzo suffered a shock concussion after 38 seconds of play off an elbow from Ryan Kitto, leaving a busy 19 year-old Adam Pearce to guard the net.

“It probably sums up our season. If it would happen to anyone it would happen to us: you’re a goal down a minute in and your keeper’s off with concussion. Paul’s stable but he should never have been out there in the first place though, he probably deserves it in some ways” said the head coach.

The Mariners are no strangers to setting records this season and not all of them good with this match seeing them become the only A-League team without a clean sheet this season. With fans threatening not to renew memberships, the Mariners recruitment process will be crucial to determining just how long Walmsley’s phase of transition will take.

“It’s about looking forward. There’s a group of people who want change, but there’s also a group of people that can see the vision and are very supportive of what it is that we set out to do.

“But the future is very bright now. We’re active in recruiting seniority and good leaders, experienced footballers that are going to make an immediate difference on the pitch next season. When we do that, the people will see and the fans will be back” said Walmsley.

While Walmsley was looking forward, Scott Miller reflected on his first season as an A-League coach.

“The playing group has been outstanding all year. I’ve been highly critical of them and very demanding, but they’ve given me everything.”

Miller admitted that the goal margin could have been much, much higher but resolved that the season as a whole has been a success by progression.

“The idea and concept was always to set up defensively initially, to stay in games a longer period of time, and then progress into controlling the game more with the ball and key acquisitions in Morten (Nordstrand) and Steven (Ugarkovic) have allowed us to do that.”

Three or four games ago the Jets were on the cusp of finals football and Miller makes no secret that an eight position finish is not what he was hoping for.

“It’s not a case of being satisfied where we’ve finished, it’s progression and I think more importantly the stability of the club is there.”

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A 20 year old Media and Law student trying to tame those stream-of-consciousness writing habits with an ickle bit of fun at the Central Coast Mariners.