Lively forward Jason Cummings has joined the Central Coast Mariners on a free transfer from Dundee FC, bolstering the Mariners’ attack. Coming to Gosford following a storied playing career in the UK, where does he fit into Nick Montgomery’s system?
Jason Cummings the player
Jason Cummings is a dynamic livewire forward, who’s predominantly used as a fox in the box forward. Cummings prefers to be utilised as a striker who is positioned high up the pitch, and predominantly does most of his work inside penalty area.
He’d announce himself with Hibernian FC playing in the Scottish Championship playing between 2014-2017 under managers Alan Stubbs and Neil Lennon. Under both Hibs bosses Cummings was prolific, having scored 71 goals in 150 appearances for the club.
During both the Stubbs and Lennon era, Cummings was used as a left-sided striker, often playing in a strike partnership. He would play either on the shoulder of his attacking teammate, or slot in just behind him as a second striker. Being left-footed, Cummings often prefers to favour his left side when in attack.
Having torn it up in the second-tier of Scottish football, Cummings has never been able to kick on, with the 26-year-old getting a move to Nottingham in 2017.
He’d make just 14 appearances for the club in two seasons, and embark on three loan spells with Rangers, Peterborough and Luton Town where he still wasn’t able to hit the previous heights he did with Hibernian.
Cummings would move to Shrewsbury Town in 2019 and spent two seasons with the English League One side, famously scoring a brace against Liverpool in a FA Cup tie. He’d then return to Scotland at the beginning of 2021, joining Dundee FC where he’d score a respectable 11 goals in 29 appearances over two seasons.
Hamstrung with a plethora of injuries and disciplinary issues, the club would eventually cut ties with the Scottish-Australian striker, leading to the Mariners snapping him up as a free agent.
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How he fits with the Central Coast Mariners
Cummings should make a swift transition to Mariners set up. Similar to Stubbs and Lennon at Hibernian where Cummings played his best football, Mariners boss Nick Montgomery also prefers to play with two strikers rather than utilising a lone striker.
Playing in a front two, Cummings should slot in as a left-sided striker and form a strong strike partnership with veteran Costa Rican Marco Ureña.
Central Coast currently has an exciting squad with a good balance of both promising young talent and seasoned veterans, but their attacking depth needs bolstering, and Cummings addresses that need.
While veterans Ureña and Matt Simon have been tremendous servants for the club, the duo are close to the finish line and are no longer viable long term options for the Mariners in attack, with the latter yet to register a single appearance this season.
On the flipside, the likes of Damian Tsekenis and Manyluak Aguek are young but raw prospects, and still need to develop, while 23-year-old Brazilian Moresche has not been impactful thus far.
Cummings, aged just 26, strikes the middle ground. He can be a both a viable long term option for the Mariners, while also being a talented player who can come straight into the side and have an immediate impact.
If he’s able to find rediscover his Hibernian form and once again be clinical in front of goal, Cummings has the potential to be Mariners equivalent of Jamie Maclaren.
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