The derby day drizzle didn’t put off the 6424 attendees to what proved to be an entertaining contest.
The Central Coast Mariners face another period of uncertainty after coach Alen Stajcic quit the A-League club just days after leading them to their first finals series in seven years.
Stajcic has been hailed as one of the competition’s coaches of the season after guiding the Mariners to third on the table following three straight wooden spoons.
Central Coast had also enjoyed an uplift in crowds due to their brilliant turnaround, where they led the league for much of the campaign.
But days after their superb season ended in an elimination final loss to Macarthur FC, the Mariners face yet another reset after Stajcic and assistant Nahuel Arrarte both stepped down.
“After a long period of discussions and reflections I have decided that I want a new challenge and to go in a new direction in my coaching journey,” Stajcic said in a statement on Thursday.
That new direction is as yet unclear for Stajcic, who took over in March 2019 and won 19 matches in 59 games as head coach, including 12 of 27 in the season just completed.
A-League clubs Western United and Newcastle are both without coaches – though the Jets have been linked to Ange Postecoglou’s former assistant Arthur Papas.
But the Mariners are now once again in limbo – with no coach in place and several key players poised to depart.
Young gun Alou Kuol has already confirmed a move to German Bundesliga team VfB Stuttgart, Jack Clisby has been heavily linked with Perth Glory and Daniel De Silva is expected to join Macarthur FC.
“Alen and Nahuel came to the club to help restore pride and credibility,” chief executive Shaun Mielekamp said.
“I am confident that the legacy that Alen and Nahuel leave the club will remain with us going forward.
“The focus is now to ensure the club continues to move forward and build upon the success of this season and we are well progressed in setting up the structures for next season.
“Once things are finalised we will make announcements accordingly.”