Central Coast favourite Hiariej wants Mariners stay

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Central Coast Mariners midfielder and fan favourite Tom Hiariej has claimed that if he had a choice, he would remain with the Gosford outfit beyond this season.

Hiariej is one of several players off-contract at the season’s end, and there has been large speculation whether he will remain a Mariner in 2020.

As the Central Coast Mariners are yet to confirm who will be the manager to lead the team forward next season, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to start signing players – especially when that player takes up a Visa spot.

Hiariej has been a fan favourite since his arrival on the Central Coast in the build up to the 2017/18 season, and fans have taken to social media to let the club know they want him to re-sign with the club.

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“I don’t have Facebook, but I get messages from my family,” said Hiariej.

“I’ve heard about the things on social media. I find it funny and it feels good, I like it here.

“I don’t really know why the fans have been so welcoming to me. I just give everything in the game and if I’m on my best I can make a difference, and that’s what I did last year in a couple of games”.

Hiariej himself has said he would like to remain a Mariner, despite the club having one of the poorest seasons in its proud history. He believes the club is heading in the right direction under Alen Stajcic.

“I’d like to stay on the Central Coast,”  Hiariej said.

“Me and the missus have adapted to life in Australia. We live in a beautiful place and we’re having the best time of our lives.

“I’m very positive for next season. Alen Stajcic has come in and his mind set about football is interesting, and that’s a good thing for me. Everything is a little bit more positive and we’ve had two wins along with some good football. I think it’s very positive for the Mariners and everyone around.

“We play more structured now, so there’s a plan of how to play on the pitch. It’s a bit clearer, and that’s the main thing.”

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At the age of 30, Hiariej still has a lot to offer any A-League club, but especially the Central Coast Mariners. If the Mariners want to offer him a contract, it certainly sounds like he will stay, although the future is unknown at this stage.

“I don’t know what’s coming up next season,” Hiariej said.

“In a couple of weeks, I will know a little bit more about the future, and then I will decide what I want to do.

“But first, I will go back to Holland to see family and friends, and then we will decide.”

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Cameron Smith
Football writer and radio presenter. Loves everything football (well, except Italian's diving since '06).