Mariners CEO steps down after nine years: ‘I’ve achieved all I can for this club’

Central Coast Mariners have announced Chief Executive Officer Shaun Mielekamp will step down from his position after nearly nine years in the role.

Mielekamp joined the club in May 2015 after a stint at Western Sydney Wanderers and went on to lead the club through the lowest of lows and to the ultimate high of last season’s 2023-24 Isuzu UTE A-League Championship.

The Mariners finished dead last in four of five seasons of Mielekamp’s tenure as CEO but last season’s Grand Final triumph, sealed off the back of consecutive finals appearances in the two seasons prior, brought the club back to the glorious early days of the A-League Men.

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Central Coast returned to Asian competition after their 2023 Championship triumph and the club’s men’s side are currently enjoying a deep run into the latter stages of the AFC Cup. The Mariners also are back in Liberty A-League competition this season and are firming as strong contenders to reach the finals in the club’s first appearance in the women’s league since 2009.

Mielekamp says he’s achieved all he can for the club and hopes his departure enables the Mariners to reach new heights in the future.

“I am truly honoured to have played my part in the history of this great club, I am incredibly proud of the achievements that have been made over the last nine seasons where I have seen all the highs and lows that sport has to offer,” he said.

“I have achieved all I can for the club. This decision will help the club take the next step forward and reach new heights. Whilst this is a difficult time for me, I make this call with genuinely best of intentions for the club and the community at heart.

“Leaving the club when things are going so well was always something that I wanted to do, we are now playing in Asia again, we now have a women’s team that we are all proud of and most of all we have a club that has showed Australian football just how important the Central Coast Mariners are and what we stand for.

“Winning the Championship was special, and so was every win and every family photo that happened. I would like to pay special thanks to the Chairman Richard Peil and Mike Charlesworth who I am extremely grateful for and without them our club would never have survived.

“Most of all I want to thank everyone in our Mariners family for your support over the years. Members, sponsors, coaches, administration staff and players who have helped us build such an amazing culture. Anything is possible, we won’t back down and we believe. I look forward to seeing you all in our paradise cheering on the team from my new lucky seats next to my family.”

The Mariners board have confirmed Director and Chairman Richard Peil will temporarily take on the duty of acting CEO as the search begins for a new CEO.

Peil believes that without Mielekamp, there would be no Central Coast Mariners.

β€œIn my opinion, the Central Coast community have Shaun to thank for their beloved Mariners still being around,” Peil said.

“I honestly don’t believe it would still exist without Shaun’s dedication and skill set over the last nine seasons. On top of this, he is genuinely one of the nicest people I’ve had the pleasure of working with. He will be sorely missed.”