Earlier this year, 19 year-old Jacob Farrell was a youth player for the Central Coast Mariners academy.
Now, he is the star youth player of the ever so impressive Mariners squad – and he has ambitions that his side can go all the way.
Farrell was born in Gosford and first played for local club Wyoming, just north of home. He has been with the Mariners academy ever since U12s.
He has always played in defence, mostly at left full-back, but on the rare occasion did spend some time as a centre-back.
According to SofaScore, Farrell is the 14th highest-ranked player in the league based on average match rating. An impressive stat considering the youngster has only played five A-League Men matches. He also scored on his debut.
“I’m trying to really not worry about those types of statistics,” Farrell told The Inner Sanctum.
“I’m just focusing on each game, one game at a time, trying to improve on each performance and get three points every match.”
Having been in the Mariners academy for such a long time, Farrell has received guidance and advice from players that have spent a lot of time in the senior set up at the club.
“My biggest inspiration as a kid would have to be Josh Rose and Patrick Zwaanswijk. They were the most influential people to me as a kid and played a massive part in helping shape me as a player.”
Rose and Zwaanswijk are considered legends at the Central Coast Mariners.
Josh Rose played over 180 times for the club and was a big part of their second A-League championship. He is also a 2x A-League Men PFA Team of the Season player as well as a recipient of the Mariners Medal.
Patrick Zwaanswijk was also a part of that championship winning Mariners squad, as well being the vice captain of the club in that season. He played 99 times for the club and was a crucial part of the squad’s defence.
The two men both have the credentials of being excellent role models to the club’s youth.
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The Mariners have once again had a brilliant start to the A-League Men season, and currently sit fourth with three wins and two losses. They look almost certain to replicate their stunning form of last season and throw themselves into finals contention yet again.
“We believe we can win the league,” stated Farrell.
“That was our goal at the start of the season, to go as far as we think we can take it.
“The squad is really young so it’s good to see the boys getting some wins and not worrying about the age or lack of experience some of us may have. We just have to keep working hard so we can make finals and hopefully win it all.”
The Mariners are currently on a three game win streak in all competitions, and their current momentum sees them as a real tough opponent for any teams coming up against them in the near future.
However, once again it seems like there is one thing in the way of stopping that momentum – and that is COVID-19.
With FFA Cup games being postponed during the week as well as games this coming weekend already being rescheduled, it seems like an all too familiar situation could have an effect on such an inexperienced squad.
“We should be able to handle it pretty well, but there will be some things out of our control that we won’t be able to handle well before games,” Farrell said.
“But we will do the best that we can, and hope everything turns out well.”
Australian football fans have seen stories such as Farrell’s many times before – and sometimes it doesn’t work out in an instant.
He is a player that has so much hype surrounding him at the moment, and is already being touted as a future national team player by fans after only a handful of matches.
The Daniel Arzani story is a similar one – a player that only played just over 20 games for Melbourne City before making the move to Europe.
Although he succumbed to injury at times, since making the move in 2018 Arzani has made less than 30 appearances of first team football. Many say that he went overseas too early and his development has come to a stand still as a result.
The 22 year-old still has plenty of time to resurrect his career – he is currently playing second tier football in Belgium, a level a lot lower than many were expecting him to be at at this point in time.
However for Farrell, his mind is firmly concentrated on getting as much experience as he can in Australia before the possibility arises of making an overseas move.
“I’m just taking each game as it comes, I want to stay in the A-League for a bit, try and work on my game here before I move on anywhere else,” he said.
“The end goal is to definitely end up playing overseas, anywhere in Europe would be amazing to play.”
Catch Jacob Farrell and the Mariners in action on Monday afternoon as they take on Wellington Phoenix at Central Coast Stadium, with kick off at 4:05pm AEDT.
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