NEW JOB: Paul Okon coaching the Australian under-20s team.
NEW JOB: Paul Okon coaching the Australian under-20s team. Dean Mouhtaropoulos

Mariners name Okon as new coach

FOOTBALL: Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou has backed the appointment of Paul Okon as the Central Coast Mariners' new coach after the 44-year-old was chosen to replace Tony Walmsley.

Postecoglou, who is preparing for Thursday's World Cup qualifier in Perth against Iraq, said it was important that Australian coaches were given the chance.

"I'm not only a big believer in Australian players but also Australian coaches,” he said.

"It is important that as we grow as a football nation that we give opportunity to young coaches in the A-League.”

Okon, who had been the coach of the Australian under-20s since 2012, said he hoped to provide something for fans to be proud of after a season of struggle last year, in which they finished last on the A-League table.

"We want to give our supporters, the people who have been loyal to this club, a reason to keep coming back to Central Coast Stadium and we want to give new people a reason to come and watch this team play football,” he said.


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