Who is more successful? Newcastle Jets or Central Coast Mariners

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Since the beginning of the A-League Men in 2005 the rivalry between Newcastle Jets and Central Coast Mariners has been one of the fiercest in the competition’s history.

Whilst it may not get the publicity of the Original Rivalry, the Big Blue or the Sydney Derby, if you want to find two teams that want nothing more than to better the other you needn’t look any further than along the F3.

Grand Final wins, wooden spoons, 8-2 victories and finals heartbreak are just a few pages in the book that is this illustrious rivalry, one that has defined both clubs since their inception.

But after all these years, which club is actually the biggest, best and most successful?

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If you ask a Novocastrian it would obviously be the Jets, whilst a Central Coast local wouldn’t bat an eyelid in saying the Mariners clearly come out on top.

When attempting to determine who is the most successful club between the two, it is crucial to look at metrics. Whether these be on the field, off the field or in the stands, they must all be identified and weighted to judge who will ultimately come out on top.

With that in mind the following 10 data sets will be examined;

  • A-League matches won
  • Championships won
  • Wooden spoons
  • Regular season premiers
  • Games against each other
  • League ladder comparison
  • Finals appearances
  • Average yearly attendance
  • Socceroos debut call ups
  • Memberships annually sold

Each of these categories will have one point attached to them, with the team holding the most points at the end being awarded the crown of the most successful team along the F3.

On Field Results

When attempting to determine which club is ultimately more successful, on field results since the beginning of the A-League Men competition must be looked at.

Both the Mariners and Jets have won 18 of their matches against each other, whilst they have also drawn another 18. Remarkably when looking at goals scored in this fixture the clubs can still not be split, with each scoring 65 goals across their 54 matches.

Whilst people often say that the derby is usually tightly contested, the statistics show that it ultimately couldn’t be any more even.

Both teams have also won one championship, with the Jets defeating the Mariners for the 2007/08 title, whilst Central Coast won in 2012/13 against Western Sydney.

Central Coast have won six more total games compared to their rivals, whilst also collecting two premiers’ plates in 2008 and 2012.

When looking at who has more regularly finished higher on the regular season table, it is clear that the Mariners come out on top. Just six times out of 16 A-League seasons have the Novocastrians fared better, with three of those remarkably coming in their last four campaigns.

The Mariners have also participated in finals football more, making it eight times compared to the Jets five.

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In fact, the only metric that shows Newcastle coming out on top on the pitch is in relation to wooden spoons awarded, with the Central Coast narrowly having more.

Overall, in terms of on field performance the Mariners have clearly been better when looking at the A-League as a whole, coming out 4-1 victors in this section with two data sets drawn.

 

Crowd and Socceroos Statistics

Unlike on the field, Newcastle certainly come out on top in the stands.

When looking at average yearly attendance the Jets clearly have the upper hand, having had larger crowds than their rivals in 12 out of the 16 A-League seasons.

Prior to the COVID affected 2020/21 season, Newcastle had not recorded lower crowds compared to the Mariners since the 2009/10 season, coming out on top in their previous 10 campaigns.

This dominance also translates to memberships sold, with the Jets yet again ranking higher. Whilst only the statistics from the 2013/14 season until 2019/20 were available, the Mariners have never once been able to get more registered members.

When looking at Socceroos call ups for players there has to be some parameters and rules. For a player to count they must have played at least one game for either of the clubs during the A-League era before their Socceroos debut. This means that if they played for the Jets during the NSL it won’t count.

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With this in mind the Mariners do come out on top, having had 16 Socceroos play for them before they got their international debut. These include some of the best A-League era Australians such as Mile Jedinak, Tom Rogic and current captain Mathew Ryan. The Jets on the other hand have had a respectable 12 players, including young starlet Riley McGree.

In this section the Jets do come out on top, holding a slight 2-1 advantage.

 

Final Results

After looking at results both on and off the field, the Central Coast Mariners are the most successful club along the F3 defeating Newcastle by a score of 5-3.

Whilst the Mariners have dominated on the field, winning in all data sets bar one, the Jets have dominated off it. Whether this be average fan attendance or memberships the Central Coast have rarely been able to compete.

So there it is, the Mariners are currently statistically a more successful club than the Jets.

Despite this, Novocastrians need not worry, due to the tight nature of this rivalry you could soon find yourselves on top after just a few successful seasons.

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William Makepeace
William Makepeace
Current Intern covering Canberra United. Sports Media student at University of Canberra who lives and breathes Football

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