SATURDAY at Lions FC Stadium and Mirza ‘Mickey’ Muratovic scores his third goal of the National Y-League season to help Brisbane Roar to victory and first place on their conference ladder.
His 25th minute goal helped Roar to a 2-1 come from behind win against Perth Glory, and continued his impressive start to the season.
Not bad for a kid who grew up in Oberon and was once tasked with finding the back of the net for the Western NSW Mariners FC.
And he is not the only Mariners graduate who is now impressing for an A-League club. Cole Mutton was unlucky not to have a goal and assist for the Newcastle Jets, while the Sydney FC outfit that beat Central Coast Mariners 2-0 included Hamish Lamberton, Jacob Tratt and Sam McIllhatton.
Those players are an illustration of the pathways the Western NSW Mariners FC can provide to more elite ranks and one of the things first grade coach Mark Rooke hopes will attract new talent to the club for 2019.
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“For us the pathway is to get them playing State League then get them to move on to playing better football,” Rooke said.
“My two boys have gone on, one’s at Manly and one’s at Hakoah. Cole Mutton has gone to the Newcastle Jets, Hamish Lamberton’s at Sydney FC, Jayden Baber, he’s at Newcastle Jets.
“There’s players out there who have certainly moved on to other clubs, and that’s the type of club that we are. We can help guys move on to the next step. There’s certainly opportunities and avenues can be opened.”
Just as emerging talents can benefit from playing with the Mariners, the Western club will be better for having them in their squads.
It will help the Mariners as they look to become more of a force in the National Premier Leagues 3 competition rather than a club battling to avoid relegation.
“Every week is going to be like a grand final, it’s going to be a huge battle to try and get up every week and make sure we keep picking up points,” Rooke said.
“It's not just first grade, it’s got to be a club situation, we need our 20s and we need our 18s to be strong to get those club championship points.”