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Friday Focus: don’t bank on Luis Garcia’s arrival changing Mariners’ luck | Paul Connolly

You hardly have to be a black belt in the ancient art of killjoyism to see that Central Coast’s signing of the decorated Spaniard raises a few concerns

It hasn’t been the best of times for the Central Coast Mariners, the A-League’s little engine that could. The rightly-proud club that in the past has well and truly exceeded expectations given its demographic base and back-of-the-couch budget, is struggling on and off the field. That they’re stuck with a playing strip that looks like a travel brochure seems emblematic of their malaise.

After finishing eighth last season (during which the Mariners went winless in 12 straight games), the Mariners are currently running last having conceded a league-worst 35 goals while winning just two from 15 games. Add in the recent threat by players to leave the club this transfer window due to the non-payment of superannuation (since rectified), the club’s recent act of temporarily taking possession of players’ mobile phones and/or records due to the belief that a ‘mole’ was leaking tactics and formations to rival teams, and the club’s continued, if occasional habit, of selling home games for financial gain, you have a snapshot of a club that keeps throwing open the curtains every morning only to see relentlessly grey skies.

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