Five-star boost for Mariners' future

January 31, 2008

Central Coast Mariners moved to shore up their A-League future with the re-signing of five players for a another two more years.

Defender Nigel Boogard, midfielders John Hutchinson, Mile Jedinak and Bradley Porter, and striker Matt Simon all extended their stay at the Gosford-based club until the end of the 2009-2010 season.

With the Mariners down 2-0 going into next Sunday's major semi-final second leg against the Newcastle Jets at Gosford, the re-signing is uplifting news for the minor premiers.

"I'm personally delighted, as I'm sure our Members and supporters will be, that we have been able to secure the services of five of our outstanding talents for season four and beyond," executive chairman Lyall Gorman said in a statement.

"Nigel, John, Mile, Brad and Matt have each made noteworthy contributions to our A-League successes this season.

"For now though, we're very much looking forward to the remaining weeks of season three, where we'll be hoping that these five players and others can inspire our club to our maiden A-League Championship.

"We're very committed to ensuring long-term success and stability and it is very much with an eye for the long term that we've re-signed these players."

They join other Mariners already signed for next season including Dean Heffernan, Adam Kwasnik, Paul O'Grady, Greg Owens, Sasho Petrovski, Danny Vukovic and Alex Wilkinson.

Gorman said he was excited about the chances of some of the re-signed quintet pressing for national honours.

"I'm confident we'll see each of these players wearing the green and gold of Australia at various levels before too long," he said.

Boogaard has represented Australia in the under-age levels and is expected to be picked for Australia's Olympic Games campaign in Beijing later this year.

After two seasons hampered by injury and illness, the 21-year-old has repaid the faith the club's manager Lawrie McKinna has given him over this time.

Hutchinson's story is similar to Boogaard's after the 28-year-old lost last season to a knee reconstruction.

His midfield partner, 23-year-old Jedinak, resisted interest from several A-League rivals to stay put.

An AIS graduate with experience with the Young Socceroos, local product Porter was recently included in the Olyroos training camp held this January in Sydney.