The 2017-18 season was a hugely forgettable campaign for the Central Coast Mariners, with the New South Wales outfit finishing at the foot of the A-League table thanks to Wellington Phoenix’s final day victory. The club immediately announced a number of personnel changes, with a plethora of players and staff heading for the exit door, and plenty more upheaval is expected over the next few months.
Mulvey has immediately set to work, with left-back Jack Clisby joining the club on a one-year deal from Western Sydney Wanderers. The 26-year-old admitted that Mulvey’s appointment played a hugely significant role in persuading him to make the move to Gosford.
Other clubs such as Chelsea and Arsenal have an abundance of talented youth players that could benefit from a stint in the A-League and the Mariners could help offer them precious competitive minutes, which may significantly help their development.
Mulvey will undoubtedly be looking at Newcastle Jets as a blueprint for next season. They were cut adrift at the end of the 2016-17 season but some sensible off-season recruitment by coach Ernie Merrick resulted in a fairytale campaign that saw them progress to the grand final. Unfortunately, they were defeated by Melbourne Victory in the showpiece event but their improvement will give every other under-performing A-League side optimism going forward. The Mariners will be hoping to exact revenge on their neighbours next season following their embarrassing 8-2 drubbing on April 14th.
It looks set to be an eventful few months in NSW as the Mariners begin to reshape their squad. Mike Mulvey has plenty of experience and is undoubtedly a quality tactician. His adaptability could be key next season but he needs support from the board and cannot be expected to solely carry the responsibility of lifting the doom and gloom which has surrounded the club over the past six months. He is aiming to restore some pride in Gosford and the Mariners appear to have the right man in charge to carry them forward.