Youth international Sherlock to lead new era

Australian youth international and outstanding defender Nathan Sherlock was today presented with the captains armband for the Central Coast Mariners’ inaugural National Youth League (NYL) campaign, which begins at Bluetongue Stadium against the Perth Glory this coming Friday, 26 September.

Australian youth international and outstanding defender Nathan Sherlock was today presented with the captains armband for the Central Coast Mariners- inaugural National Youth League (NYL) campaign, which begins at Bluetongue Stadium against the Perth Glory this coming Friday, 26 September.

Sherlock, 18, who in early August was announced as one of the Mariners- first NYL signings along with exciting local product Brady Smith, was today unveiled as the Mariners- NYL captain by Mariners Development Manager and Qantas Socceroo legend Alex Tobin.

Born and raised in the central west New South Wales city of Orange, Sherlock was most recently a key member of Sydney Olympic-s NSW Premier League charge before being spotted by Mariners scouts and penning a deal with the yellow and navy despite significant interest from rival Hyundai A-League clubs.

"We identified Nathan very early in the process of recruiting players for our NYL squad and I have every confidence that he has the capacity to progress to bigger and better things in the future," said Tobin.

"More relevant to the captaincy appointment, Nathan is the type of on and off field leader that his team-mates will look up to and a player and a person that will represent the ethics and values of the Mariners with the commitment that we have come to expect from our captains in the past.

"As a fellow defender, I see Nathan as a player that has enormous potential to progress through the pathways that have been created by the National Youth League and we are indeed delighted to have a player of Nathan-s ability and character with us at the Mariners."

Sherlock was part of one of Australia-s history making youth international squads - the Qantas Joeys- (Under 17-s) class of 2006, who were the first Australian international representation to attempt to qualify for a major international tournament through Asia.

An Australian Schoolboy representative, having competed in ten games throughout a ten-match tour of the United Kingdom and Ireland in 2007, Sherlock is one of Australia-s most exciting emerging defenders and one that is sure to lead the Mariners- next generation of Hyundai A-League stars with distinction.

"It-s a great honour to be picked in this team for starters, but to be named captain is a great achievement for myself," said Sherlock.

"I think we-ve got a great team, a lot of us have played together over the years or, if not, we-ve played against each other.

"I think the National Youth League is going to be huge in terms of our development, it-s an introduction to professional football, especially training with and beside the first team, it will enhance our game but also get us used to the professional way of playing."

The Mariners are back at Bluetongue Stadium on Friday, 26 September, when they continue their Hyundai A-League 2008/09 campaign against the Perth Glory in Round 6. Kick off is at 8pm, gates open at 5pm.

The Mariners- National Youth League team will make its first appearance in the new elite competition for Australia-s best young players before the main game, also against the Perth Glory. Kick off is at 5.15pm.

Tickets for this match are on sale from Ticketek outlets, from the Ticketek website - www.ticketek.com.au, or via phone on 132 849.

Mariners Memberships for the Hyundai A-League 2008/09 season are now on sale at www.ccmariners.com.au