An Alou Kuol strike in the 43rd minute gave Central Coast a morale-boosting A-League win over Newcastle in their first game of 2020-21.
The year 2021 is potentially going to be a make-or-break one for the Central Coast Mariners.
If the club’s CEO Shaun Mielekamp is to be believed, then the Gosford club have the power to be a growing force in the A-League.
The optimistic CEO was recently interviewed on Mariners TV, where he openly spoke about financial opportunities and ensuing business networking on match days.
“Hopefully everybody will see a big marquee, where we can have guest speakers and politicians,” he said, hinting at gifting influential guests the red-carpet treatment.
Touching on the centre of excellence training facility at Tuggerah, Mielekamp also offered the local community new employment opportunities in the future.
“The focus is about a 126-room hotel,” he beamed.
“There was a wonder if things would progress, but now we’ve brought back a project manager.”
Such confidence from an evolving club, it appears, was triggered by an up-and-coming celebration.
“What kicked this into gear so quickly has been the Women’s World Cup,” Mielekamp said, having proactively submitted Tuggerah as a base camp to council.
“We can pitch to the USA team, and the English team, and the teams from around the world.”
However, before fans get too excited, it’s important to note that the vital relationship between the Mariners and the council will be tested on December 3.
Having recently gone into administration, a report on the Central Coast Council will be made public early next month, outlining a series of options on the way forward.
“It’s an interesting time with the council,” a diplomatic Mielekamp cautioned, choosing his words wisely.
“We’re looking to reengage conversations (with them).”
Granted, there now appears to be a shift in power that benefits the Mariners, especially if the council needs to sell assets, such as the management rights to the local football stadium.
Suddenly the club seems more lucrative to a possible new owner, and the future is looking much brighter.