The Mariners are proceeding head on with their youth recruitment policy.
Central Coast Mariners have made Anthony Kalik the youngest professional in the A-League after handing him a senior contract.
The 15-year-old prodigy has signed a three-year deal at the Bluetongue Stadium, failing to eclipse the previous record set by Newcastle Jets’ Ben Kantarovski in January 2008, and will join AIS teammate Liam Rose in the centre of excellence in March.
After being given the chance to trial at Western Sydney Wanderers and Sydney FC as part of the AIS program the pair opted for the Mariners with Kalik revealing the presence of Graham Arnold and Phil Moss swayed their decision.
”It’s a great club, I’m very happy to be here,” Kalik told Sydney Morning Herald. ”We chose Central Coast because it’s a good club. I thought Arnie and Mossie [assistant coach Phil Moss] are great coaches and I can learn a lot from them.”
Arnold, who signed a two-year contract extension earlier this week, believes the Mariners have aquired two of the most promising young talents in the division and can follow in the footsteps of former prodigy Mustafa Amini.
“I have to say that, looking at both of them, they’re probably more advanced physically to what Musti was,” Arnold added.
“[Kalik] has the awareness at the age of 15 which is frightening. He has a killer pass already. Young Rose, he’s a ball winner but he can use the ball extremely well.
“Both kids, as long as they buckle down and work hard, they have a great future.”