Central Coast Mariners 15/16 Mid-Season Report Card

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It’s the time of the year when clubs look towards the second half of the season and The Football Sack critiques each club’s progress so far.

Do you agree with our assessments made in the return of our mid-season report cards?

Semester Summary: Central Coast Mariners’ season has been marked by an eleven-match streak without a win. At the same time the club has been preaching endlessly that it’s all part of a lavish transition phase for the club: new players, new management, and a new philosophy. Head coach Tony Walmsley has had us on the edge of our chairs every game, waiting for the moment when everything clicked. Before the Mariners trumped Wellington Phoenix on New Years Eve there was serious doubt about this new phase from players, fans and even former head honcho Laurie McKinna.

Areas of Excellence: The Mariners’ attack-minded play is bloody entertaining but until late has failed to translate into points. Walmsley has the boys playing a 4-1-2-3 formation and is eager to see some creative – and risky – fieldwork. Their chairman Mike Charlesworth might have spoken too soon in October when he claimed that entertainment “overrides results”, but if that’s the tune they’re singing, they’ve certainly delivered. His young team is mighty adventurous in play that’s both the bee’s knees for spectators and promising for the club in the long run. And that’s where we’re looking, fellas, way, way out into the horizon.

Areas in need of improvement: A hearty boost of experience wouldn’t go amiss for the team who are fairly fresh on the field. There’s helping young players learn and grow on one hand, and then there’s the commercial reality of sustaining a football club on the other. Walmsley didn’t write off acquiring a marquee player in the January transfer window, which might help fans and players get back on board with the inevitable ‘Walmsley Way’.

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Top Students: Portuguese right winger Fabio Ferreira has been the cats pyjamas this season despite a six week break thanks to a nagging hamstring. The number seven adds an electric flair to his team with lightning pace and a flawless right foot. The Golden Boot Award recipient has a bag of tricks at his disposal which makes him one of the more experienced Mariners and a crowd favourite. That hyper-chiselled chin certainly isn’t hurting anyone either.

Class Clowns: Look, you’d be hard done to find a Mariner who isn’t slogging it out so, so Roy O’Donovan wins this one for his narky little headbutt to Manny Muscat last week. Even though the Irish forward has been a four-goal blessing this season and a solid starter for the team, he’s likely to face suspension and a slap on the wrist for general grouchiness.

Grade: C

Outlook: Promising. With the right timing and the right players, Walmsley’s philosophy might just prove a great success. Don’t hold your breath though; you’re in this for the long haul.

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Jade Toomey
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.