The jewel in Gosford's crown.. their three-sided stadium.
The Central Coast Mariners, in a joint venture with the Wyong RSL, have decided to build a $40 million football complex, including training pitches, a 'boutique' stadium for National Youth League and women's W-League matches, an 120-room accommodation block, offices, a gymnasium, aquatic centre, conference venue and a sports science block.
Not content with being the league leaders in junior development and local community involvement, these fishy bastards are once again showing the rest of the league how to run a football club. Here's a link to the Marinators fan forum, where there's a bit more information about what exactly this project will involve.
Once again the Mariners are thinking outside the square and pushing the envelope, engaging their stakeholders and maximising their key deliverables, or something like that. It's good to see an A-League club looking into the future and thinking: 'Ooh yes, that'd be nice', then doing something in an effort to achieve that vision - unlike the Sydney FC or Newcastle Jets method, which appears to involve sacking people one by one and then desperately rolling the dice on unfit 'stars' until the team starts winning.
This development is able to take place as a result of investment by the Mariners Trust, a newly formed entity controlled by Lyall Gorman, Peter Turnbull and Sheffield United owner Kevin McCabe that holds a controlling stake in the club. It looks like these guys are putting their money on the line and developing a real long-term vision for Mariners. Good on them, and I hope it works out well - they're the best in the league off the park, and on the park they're actually starting to play some very good football. Good for the league and good for their standing in the community.