Mariners ‘intrigued’ by new A-League timing
CENTRAL Coast Mariners chief executive Shaun Mielekamp said the club had been through a tough period and "pretty dark days" during the COVID-19 crisis but is excited about the prospective of a new-look A-League which will dip into winter in 2021.
As his team prepare for the reactivation of the 2019/2020 A-League competition, Mielekamp this week dubbed the prospect of playing from December 2020 to July 2021 as "intriguing".
The A-League shutdown, which has been going on since March, has had a major impact on the Central Coast Mariners.
However Mielekamp said the club is well versed in dealing with tough times.
"One thing that we're very good at, we're very skilled at, is we are used to cutting our cloth and working off the smell of an oily rag," he said.
"It's almost going to be one of the advantages for us that we are very rehearsed at working in tight budgets and working in some pretty strict parameters.
"So it's not going be easy, but it was never easy, and never will be easy, but for us, there is the opportunity there to keep going."
The new dates for the A-League were revealed last week when a new broadcast agreement was struck between the FFA and Fox Sports.
Mielekamp said the new timing of the league will provide more opportunities to attract fans as it aligns with the sports grassroots.
"We're very positive that this could be something very good for us to be able to really engage with grassroots in their season," he said.
"It's not exactly a move fully in through to winter because it's still pretty warm in December and January, but it does allow us to really get going with the A-League, get going as a club and allow us to help build and grow participation numbers and connect with the grassroots."
Both the A-League and W-League will start their 2020/21 seasons in December and finish in July in a move designed to align the elite competitions with the international game and lower-tier competitions.
This change means the sport will go up against the AFL and NRL from March to July.