Unlikely duo shows Stajcic what kind of player he wants for Mariners rebuild

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Amidst speculation that caretaker coach Alen Stajcic has signed a three-year deal at the helm of Central Coast Mariners, the former Matildas boss says he knows what kind of player he wants for a rebuild.

Stajcic sung the praises of experienced defender Jack Clisby and promising attacker Jordan Murray after Saturday’s 3-1 victory over Western Sydney Wanderers.

And with both players inking extensions with the Gosford club last week, the 45-year-old believes the pair offer the kind of spirit Stajcic wants from his charges should he get the job next season.

“For me, they symbolise what we want”, said Stajcic.

“They’re great characters, they’re consistent players, they play with heart and spirit, they want to learn.

“We’re never going to have the marquee players that a [Melbourne] Victory or a Sydney [FC] can have, but we do need a committed group of players who are unified, who are strong with a great mentality, and I think we saw that today.

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“There have been times this year where we’ve struggled with depth, so that’s certainly an important component to be able to go down deep into the squad and regardless of who you call upon, you can still play at a good level.

“There’s a lot of things the club needs to weigh up, and that’s certainly at the forefront. Building a good quality squad with good characters who can build a good environment around here to push the club further up the ladder.”

 

It is apparent looking at Stajcic’s team selection that there is a strong focus on youth players coming through as he starts to assess the squad for next season.

Young wingers Peter Kekeris and Dylan Ruiz-Diaz made appearances off the bench, and 22-year-old goalkeeper Adam Pearce was preferred ahead of 32-year-old veteran Ben Kennedy.

Embed from Getty Images

 

Feature Image Credit: Glenn Pokorny

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