Monty’s transfer message to Cummings immediately after becoming champions

This week’s episode of A-Leagues All Access takes you behind the scenes of Melbourne City v Central Coast Mariners in the 2023 Isuzu UTE A-League Grand Final. Watch the episode below.

Seconds before the final whistle, Nick Montgomery takes a deep breath, and looks to the sky.

It’s the briefest of moments – but the Central Coast Mariners boss takes it for himself. Perhaps in that moment, he thinks of his late mother. “She’ll be so proud of me,” he later tells A-Leagues All Access. “It’s hard to really put into words, I wish she was here to see me, but I know she’s up there watching.”

That moment comes and goes in a flash, and Montgomery fixes his gaze back on the pitch. He knows those fleeting seconds will likely be the last he gets to himself all night. Then, the whistle blows to confirm the Mariners’ status as 2023 Isuzu UTE A-League Champions, concluding an incredible Grand Final that ends 6-1 in his side’s favour against Premiers and favourites Melbourne City.

Montgomery is subsequently pulled from pillar to post by members of his coaching team, fans, Mariners staff, his wife and daughters, and the players he turned into Champions.

One of Montgomery’s most special interactions comes with hat-trick hero and Socceroos star Jason Cummings, who he hoists into the air in their first interaction after the final whistle.

The A-Leagues All Access crew capture Cummings’ touching tribute to the man who turned his career around – and a plea from Montgomery to his star striker to return to the club after an expected overseas transfer.

In the lead-up to the Grand Final, rumours began to circulate in regards to Cummings’ future on the Coast. The Scottish-born Socceroo has spent the last two seasons in Gosford, scoring 30 goals from 49 games to earn his first international caps and a place in Australia’s World Cup squad for Qatar 2022.

Both before and after the Grand Final, Cummings labelled the showpiece event as his “last dance” at the Mariners, ahead of a reported move to the Indian Super League.

Cummings scored a Grand Final hat-trick to earn the Joe Marston Medal as the best player afield in the 6-1 romp. Montgomery hopes the game-breaking display will not be his last at the club.

“I cannot thank you enough,” says Cummings, as he embraces Montgomery on the CommBank Stadium turf. “You f***ing changed my life.”

“You’re going to enjoy tonight,” Montgomery replies. “Just f******g come back in two years!”

Produced by KEEPUP Studios and JAMTV, each new episode of the docuseries will debut on Thursday at 7:30pm AEDT on 10 Play, KEEPUP.COM.AU, the KEEPUP app. It will be available on Australia’s fastest growing streaming service, Paramount+, and will then be broadcast on 10 Bold at 2:00pm AEDT on Sunday afternoons as an appetiser for the evening’s Isuzu UTE A-League Men game on the same channel. 

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