Stefan Nigro (def) Green Gully; Louis Khoury (mid) Curzon Ashton; Daniel Bouman (mid) free agent; Oliver Bozanic (mid) free agent; Michal Janota (mid) free agent;
Milan Djuric (k) (mid) Rad Belgrade; Tommy Oar (k) (mid) Macarthur; Ziggy Gordon (r) (def) Western Sydney Wanderers; Samuel Silvera (r) (mid) Pacos Ferreira; Jordan Murray (r) (att) Kerala Blasters (IND); Chris Harold (r) (att) released; Dylan Fox (sp) (def) NorthEast United (IND); Eun-seon Kim (sp) (mid) Gimhae FC; Charles M'Bombwa (mid) Macarthur; Michael McGlinchey (mid) released;
Mariners have finished last in 4 of the last 5 seasons, including the last one when they lost 18 and won just 5 of their 26 games. It was yet another campaign filled with many defensive errors and low-quality displays, this despite coach Stajcic being able to develop several youngsters well during the campaign.
At the end of the season Mariners were put for sale and, with no buyer found yet, huge uncertainty surrounds the team right now as their A-League license could be revoked at the end of the coming campaign if a new owner is not found.
All this uncertainty kept Stajcic in charge. Considering that his previous job was Head Coach of Australia’s U23 and how young the current Mariners’ squad is, this is not surprising. As expected, struggling for cash owner sold everyone he could sell in the off-season while at the same time the bare minimum of investments allowed just to have the required number of players to start the season.
Stajcic and his players are already written off and expected to finish last again, but this gives them freedom which they can capitalise on, as nobody expects anything from them.
Mariners still have some talent in their ranks, none more than playmaker De Silva and goalkeeper Birighitti. Also the arrival of 3 free-agent inner midfielders is interesting move as they all had been without clubs for 6+ months, but once their fitness improves the trio of Europeans could provide Mariners with some intricate passing game.
Main worry will have to be who will be scoring the goals with veterans Simon and Britto the only strikers in the group and they are both not known for being very prolific.
Mariners would consider it a success even if they avoid finishing last, anything more would be just added bonus.