NEW Central Coast Mariners midfielder Nick Montgomery today arrived at the Club to begin a three-season deal with the yellow and navy.
Montgomery, 30, met his new teammates at the Central Coast Mariners Centre of Excellence in Tuggerah, before addressing the local media gathered to witness the former Sheffield United players’ arrival.
Montgomery progressed through the youth ranks at Sheffield United before making over 400 competitive appearances for the Blades’ first team.
Indeed, Montgomery’s time with the red and white half of Sheffield saw him feature in the Barclays Premier League, as well as extensively in England’s second tier known as the Championship.
After a long flight with his wife, Josie and twin daughters, Chloe and Leah, Montgomery said he was eager to begin his tenure with Central Coast.
“It was quite a long trip with 17-month-old twins but apart from that I’m delighted to be here and looking forward to it. It was nice to get a nice welcome from the boys,” Montgomery said.
“I’d always thought about a change and after being at one Club for so long when the opportunity came up I spoke to the manager and the Chairman at the Central Coast, and after I spoke to them there was only one place I wanted to come and that was here.”
“I did have other offers in the Championship in England but … when the opportunity came up I spoke to my wife and we decided to go with it.”
So well is Montgomery respected at Sheffield United, some 16,866 supporters stood as one to applaud and thank him for his 12 years of service when the Blades played Bury at Bramall Lane on Sunday.
Montgomery said the send off he received at his home of over a decade humbled him, and that he hoped to create some similar memories at Gosford’s idyllic bayside arena, Bluetongue Stadium.
“It was fantastic. To be at a club as long as I had, 14 years, I could have moved so many times in that time but I always stayed loyal to the Club. I had some fantastic times there so to get the send off, a standing ovation in front of a big crowd was something special that I’ll cherish forever,” he said.
Central Coast Mariners Head Coach Graham Arnold said Montgomery brings experience, plus quality into the Mariners line-up.
“We’ve lost some experience out of the squad, especially out of the middle of the team with Alex Wilkinson in the off-season,” Arnold said.
“At the end of the day we looked around for quite a while. Nick brings a lot of experience but also he’s a fabulous person. For a player to stay at one Club for his whole career shows you what type of person he is.”
“He pretty much ticks every box that we needed ticked off.”
Montgomery has been included in Graham Arnold’s squad to travel to the Sunshine Coast to take on Brisbane Roar at Stockland Stadium this weekend.
Meanwhile, Central Coast Mariners can today confirm Italian manufacturer Kappa will be the Clubs official apparel supplier for the next two Hyundai A-League seasons.
Central Coast Mariners join rival Hyundai A-League sides Adelaide United and Melbourne Heart to be kitted out by the unique, dynamic and well-respected company.
Kappa are also the apparel providers of other elite football Clubs around the world, including Seria A giants AS Roma, Barclays Premier League outfit Fulham FC, French Ligue 1 competitors Toulouse, and Korean heavyweights Pohang Steelers.
The Mariners will unveil their 2012/13 playing apparel and make another special announcement this Friday 21 September.