Canberra bid boss backs Mariners
Photo Source: AAP
The man who once led the push for Canberra's own A-League team now reckons the 'Capital Coast Mariners' are the city's best hope of representation in the competition.
Businessman Ivan Slavich has been appointed Central Coast Mariners' business development manager in Canberra ahead of two upcoming 'home' A-League clashes at GIO Stadium in the nation's capital, against Wellington (November 12) and Adelaide (February 5).
He previously spearheaded the ill-fated 'A-League4Canberra' campaign, which despite raising $5 million was never seriously entertained by Football Federation Australia.
But after FFA boss David Gallop's comments last year that Canberra doesn't have a large enough population to sustain an A-League team, Slavich appears to have thrown all his eggs into the Mariners' basket.
"For so long I have been yearning for a Hyundai A-League team in Canberra and now we have it," said Slavich, who in his new role will drive corporate and community support for the Mariners in Canberra.
"All other men's sporting codes in Canberra have a team to go for. Union fans have the Brumbies, league have the Raiders and AFL have the Giants, now football fans have the Mariners in the A-League.
"I can't stress how important it is for football fans and local businesses to support our Capital Coast Mariners - if we want permanent fixtures here in Canberra, we need to see big crowds at these games and vote with our feet."
The nation's capital will get another taste of big-time football on Wednesday night when Canberra Olympic hosts Sydney FC in an FFA Cup semi-final at Viking Park.