New appointment boosts Mariners? youth development initiatives


In 2007/08, the Mariners unveiled their Youth Academy structure, a Hyundai A-League first, which brought the Central Coast?s best performing 15 to 18-year-old?s together once a week to improve their game under the guidance of Mariners players and coaches.
The inaugural Mariners Youth Academy line up provided the Mariners with one senior team player, Ian McAndrew, who made his Hyundai A-League debut against the Wellington Phoenix in October of last year, while a handful of other graduates are expected to push for places in the Mariners? inaugural National Youth League line up.
Walmsley?s appointment, which will most notably see him oversee the implementation of satellite Youth Academies in conjunction with the Mariners northern Sydney partners and refresh the existing Central Coast Youth Academy structure, ensures that the Mariners will continue to set the benchmark in terms of providing a pathway for aspirant professionals to the Hyundai A-League.
“We have always maintained that we want to become the centre of excellence for football in Australia and Tony?s appointment and the work he will undertake in improving upon our existing Youth Academy structures is very much a cornerstone of such ambitions,” said Mariners Executive Chairman Lyall Gorman.
“Tony?s expertise in the field of youth development is second to none and we are incredibly excited to welcome Tony to our already vastly experienced line up of coaches that I am confident will continue to move our club forward in leaps and bounds in the coming months and years.”
Walmsley?s current role is Director of Football at the Gladesville-Hornsby Football Association (GHFA), one of seven grassroots football associations to benefit from a partnership with the Mariners and home to over 13,000 registered players.
At the GHFA, Walmsley has introduced one of the country?s most envied junior and senior representative structures and most successful grassroots football development programs.
Prior to linking with the GHFA, Walmsley?s former roles included Academy Director for the official Manchester United Youth Development program throughout Oceania, Co-ordinator of the NSW Olympic Athletes program and senior coaching appointments with the Queensland Soccer Federation, Soccer Tasmania and the New South Wales Institute of Sport.
“We intend to harness the potential already being demonstrated through a strong community partnership program by adding a series of programs that will deliver world class curriculum under the banner of the most successful football club in the country,” said Walmsley.

“It will give us the opportunity to support our community partners with quality resources, programs and management services, while identifying and developing emerging talent.”
“I?m genuinely excited by the opportunity to contribute to the Mariners through this new role, which I?m certain will continue to see the Mariners set the benchmark in terms of youth development and talent identification in Australia.”
-By Benjamin Coonan