Central Coast veteran Daniel McBreen is just one goal away from earning an extension to his contract if coach Graham Arnold keeps his promise.
The 35-year-old striker continued his purple patch of form when he scored both goals in the Mariners’ 2-0 win over F3 rivals the Newcastle Jets on Saturday to take his season tally to nine goals in just 10 rounds.
Arnold confirmed after the derby win that McBreen could be rewarded with another season at the club if he scores 10 goals for the season.
“It is fair dinkum, he has to get one more,” Arnold told the media.
“He (McBreen) is 35 and he came to me and said, ‘What do I have to do to get another year contract?’
“I said, ‘Get double figures and let’s talk.’ He is one away. I didn’t expect it to happen this early I have to say. I am very happy for him.”
The talismanic McBreen has enjoyed a colourful career after starting with his hometown Newcastle United in the old NSL before stints in Scotland and England.
He returned to Australia to play with the now defunct North Queensland Fury then Perth Glory before settling with the Mariners where he is in career-best form.
“Macca (McBreen) is in wonderful form and I think that is the first goal he has scored against Newcastle and he is a Newcastle boy, so he is extremely happy tonight,” Arnold said of McBreen.
“But Macca is a pro. He works hard, exceptionally hard at training. We have had to cut back on his training loads to try to keep him fresher for the games and it seems to be working very well.”
Arnold stressed that McBreen’s good form was due largely in part to the hard work of his team-mates, highlighted by the pin-point crosses he received for his brace in the win over the Jets.
“I think we are the only team in the league that gets our full-backs as far forward as we do,” Arnold said.
“Josh Rose scored a goal for us last week and gave a nice assist for tonight and it is the same for Pedj Bojic, so we are very attacking-minded and Macca just has to work the 16-yard box and not out wide anymore and he is enjoying good service.
“We emphasise everything is about the team and not the individual and I am extremely happy especially as we had Mat Ryan and Tom Rogic away with the Socceroos.
“They are two very important players. Justin Pasfield did very well in goals and (Michael) McGlinchey did well at no.10.
“We have created our own depth by giving the kids a go and the kids have come on a lot so very happy with the performance.
“I was a bit disappointed at half-time. We had four really good chances in the first half that we butchered.
“But I just said to the guys at half-time just keep doing what you are doing but let’s have some killer instinct in front of goal and the game is there for the taking.”