Why Mariners boss had the ‘hardest job in the A-League’

Central Coast Mariners host Melbourne Victory in the Isuzu UTE A-League Grand Final at Industree Group Stadium in Gosford on Saturday. Grab your tickets now at Ticketek.

Central Coast Mariners star Christian Theoharous heaped praise on head coach Mark Jackson as the defending champions eye back-to-back Isuzu UTE A-League Championships and an historic treble.

For the first time in the history of the competition, Gosford will host a Grand Final when the Mariners welcome Melbourne Victory to Industree Group Stadium on Saturday night.

It has been an historic season for Central Coast, who have already won the Premiership and a maiden AFC Cup as they look to become the first A-Leagues club in history to win a treble.

The Mariners have soared to unprecedented heights after Mark Jackson replaced Nick Montgomery – who led Central Coast to their first Championship in a decade last term, at the end of the September.


This is despite losing their first four games of the Isuzu UTE A-League season following the departures of Montgomery plus the likes of Jamie Cummings, Nectar Triantis and Sammy Silvera.

“It’s been an incredible year for me,” said Theoharous, who has scored three goals in 25 league appearances this season, having featured in 17 matches last season though only two were starts. “Playing as many games as I can and working with people who love football.

“Not only love football but love their players and look after their players, on and off the field.

“Danny (Schofield) and the gaffer just want the best for everyone. They’ve done an incredible job. Almost the hardest job in the A-League.

“Losing a gaffer that did so much for the club and it’s not easy replacing that. They’ve done just that, even more really.

“Teaching us about football. Not only the way they play but about football and the details. It’s a privilege working under these guys.”

Theoharous sported a blead blonde hair for the Semi-Final second leg against Sydney FC and he was joined by Mariners teammates Alou Kuol and Ronald Barcellos.

Another Central Coast teammate is in his sight, however.

“Just sums us up as a team. In everything we do, we’re together,” said Theoharous.

“There’s a few lads who’ve come blonde with me. I done it last year and we got over the line and I did it again this year.

“One in, all in. That’s how we are on and off the field. We have each other’s back.”

“… I heard Vuka (Danny Vukovic) will go blonde so I’ll be onto him if we win,” he joked.

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No team in Isuzu UTE A-League history have won a Premiership or Championship after losing the first four matches of a season.

The Mariners have already ticked off the Premier’s Plate and they could add the Championship to that list by beating Victory in Gosford this weekend.

That isn’t the only piece of history they are eyeing, with the Mariners on track for a first-ever treble.


“We have 100% belief that we can do it (go back-to-back),” said Mariners forward Ryan Edmondson. “Don’t get me wrong against Melbourne it’s going to be tough, it always is.

“But we have full belief in what we can do.”

On the treble pursuit, Edmondson said: “For the club and community, it’s massive.

“But again, we’re a squad who doesn’t get lost on that. We’ve won the two trophies already, yeah that’s fine. But that’s in the past now. We have one more to play for and our full focus is on that.

“It’s not about winning the treble… it’s just about winning on Saturday.”