The Central Coast Mariners were a prominent feature at the top end of the A-League table throughout the competition’s early days.
The club reached the pinnacle of Australian football in 2013 when – after several Grand Final losses – a star-studded Mariners side lifted its first-ever Championship.
A combination of experience with some of Australia’s best young players turned the Mariners into a force to be reckoned with in the early 2010s before their demise.
The club has had some fine players don the jersey, making the collation of this list a difficult task.
GK – Mat Ryan
Not only is Mat Ryan the greatest goalkeeper to come out of the A-League but is one of the most respected shot-stoppers in the Premier League.
Ryan made 80 appearances for the Mariners, bursting onto the scene as a teenager by winning the Joe Marston Medal at 19-years-old in the side’s losing 2012 Grand Final and quickly becoming an integral part of the line-up.
The club only had to wait 12 months to end its Grand Final hoodoo and win its inaugural Championship – which Ryan was a part of.
While his stay at the club was short his impact was profound and has since become Australia’s first-choice goalkeeper – representing the country in several Asian and World Cups.
DEF – Patrick Zwaanswijk
A-League fans of the early 2010s know full well how solid Patrick Zwaanswijk was in defence.
Standing at 190cm tall very little got past the Dutch defender – who was also capable of popping up with a goal or two when needed.
Coming to the A-League after stints in the Netherlands with FC Utrecht and NAC Breda, Zwaanswijk very quickly became a fan-favourite at the Mariners and wasted little time in delivering success.
His goal in the 2013 Grand Final opened the scoring for the Mariners who would go on to record a 2-0 victory against the Western Sydney Wanderers.
MID – Mile Jedinak
In addition to being remembered as one of Australia’s most inspirational captain’s who never shied away from the big occasions, Jedinak is also remembered fondly at the Mariners.
Little did a 22-year-old Mile Jedinak know what was in store for his career – or the incredible beard he would grow – when he joined the Mariners in 2006.
In his first full season at the club he helped the Mariners lift the 2007/08 premiership and quickly became a fan-favourite after several top performances in midfield.
Jedinak’s ability to pop up at the right moment – be it with a goal or a crunching tackle – made him one of Australia’s most respected players.
His ability to score outrageous long ranged free kick was another string to his bow, with the 30-yard stunner scored against Sydney FC the best of his eight goals for the club.
FWD – Daniel McBreen
After short – but action packed – stints with North Queensland Fury and Perth Glory, Daniel McBreen landed at the Central Coast Mariners and never looked back.
The striker added plenty of firepower for the Mariners. His 2012/13 season was the best of his four years at the club – winning the Golden Boot after going on an incredible streak scoring 14 goals in 15 matches.
His 68th minute goal in the 2013 Grand Final sealed the club’s one and only Championship and was awarded the Joe Marston Medal.
It’s safe to say McBreen’s place in this team is thoroughly deserved.
FWD – Matt Simon
Matt Simon is Central Coast through and through.
He has seen both the glory years and the fall down the table – collecting everything from trophies to wooden spoons and everything in-between.
Simon’s devotion to the club is without question and continues to lead the team into battle to this day. He has scored some of the club’s most important goals and sits as the Mariners’ all-time leading goal scorer with 56 across his three stints at the club.
While a Championship win eludes him, he was a significant contributor to the side’s 2007/08 Premiership and has always given his all for the club across his 210 appearances.