Dutch recruit eyeing competitive Mariners debut


After a gruelling pre-season on the Central Coast, former FC Groningen midfielder Tom Hiariej admits he’s excited to play his first competition game for the Mariners.

Paul Okon’s new-look Mariners will meet Blacktown City FC in the Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32 on Wednesday night. 


“I am looking forward to the first official games [FFA Cup & A-League] and the game against Blacktown City is one of them. They are the games I am here for and I can’t wait,” Hiariej said.

The former Dutch U-21 representative highlighted the importance of cup competitions and winning trophies, something that he was able to do in the Netherlands.

“The FFA Cup is a prize and of course you want to win every prize on offer,” Hiariej said

“The Cups in Holland are really important because if you win it, which I did three years ago, you qualify for the Europa League.

“Back home it is played all throughout the year where here it is over in a few months, so it is a little bit different but it is a prize and we want to win.”


“His [Okon’s] playing style is a little similar to Holland so it is a European playing style and the players we have fit it, it is really good and very effective,” Hiariej said.

“Wout Brama is a really good player, he had three caps for the Dutch National team and he is an awesome player so I am looking forward to him arriving on the Central Coast.”


When asked which young Mariners players had impressed him during his first month with the Yellow & Navy, the 29-year-old midfielder spoke highly of a young attacker but also praised the team’s culture.

“Hooley [Andrew Hoole] has impressed me because he has been scoring goals and he is really strong but it’s not only one person,” Hiariej said.

“All of the players here are really kind and they have worked so hard to help me fit in, which has helped me a lot.”