Central Coast Mariners Academy

Central Coast Mariners Academy are the youth/reserve team for the Hyundai A-League club Central Coast Mariners FC, based in Gosford in the Central Coast. The Academy has undergone a few changes since its inception in 2008, having started off as “Central Coast Mariners Youth,” then establishing itself as the academy of the A-League team of its namesake in 2012. Along with Western Sydney Wanderers Youth and Sydney FC Youth, they are one of three youth teams directly associated with the senior team of their A-League club.

The Academy plays out of Pluim Park in the suburb of Tuggerah and participates in  various competitions such as NPL NSW2 for men’s, as well as in women’s and youth competitions. Early incarnations of the Academy played in the now defunct National Youth League but since 2016 participate in the NPL NSW2. The Academy was established as a venture between Central Coast Football and Central Coast Mariners as to provide juniours in the area a pathway to the then NYL and A-League sides.

Disputes between Central Coast Football and the Mariners over financial and technical aspects of the programme forced Football NSW to hand the licence to Central Coast Football in 2014, thus shutting the Academy down. Forward to 2015, Football NSW’s Competitions Review recommended that Western Sydney Wanderers, Sydney FC and Central Coast Mariners enter their academy sides in the NPL tiers, to which Central Coast Mariners were accepted, replacing Central Coast FC.

Despite in their history attaining now silverware, the importance of such an academy cannot be stressed as Central Coast Academy is crucial in helping develop and procure talent in the Central Coast region, providing opportunities for young footballers in the area to aspire to.