|By BREN O'BRIEN
Central Coast Mariners coach Graham Arnold has accused Football Federation Australia of disrupting his team's build up to Friday's 2-2 draw in the A-League with Melbourne Victory by "leaking" a story that goalkeeper Mat Ryan was set to sign for Hull City.
FFA's website reported on Thursday that Ryan had been offered a deal to join Championship outfit Hull in January and that the 20-year-old custodian would leave the Mariners.
The article contained a quote from Central Coast Mariners chairman Peter Turnbull, detailing that negotiations had taken place.
But Arnold refuted that any deal was put forward to Ryan and said he was upset that "head office" had been involved in getting the story into the public domain.
"I was so disappointed the way that got leaked. Because it came from head office, FFA, and I didn't know that it was their job to leak those type of things. I think it's your job [media] to find that out, not them," he said.
"We've received a letter of interest for him to go for a trial. He's not going for a trial. For them to put that out is disappointing, it disrupts our whole week.
"For FFA to leak that the way they did, I think is totally wrong. What else are they going to leak? They know everything that's going on in the league every week, so are they are now going to start leaking other stuff?"
Arnold said the build-up to the game for Ryan, who was away in Korea with the Australia national team when the story first broke, was compromised and the young goalkeeper walked back into storm over his future with the club.
"That can totally disrupt team harmony. When Matty turned up yesterday, he's got 14 players asking him, 'Are you leaving us, are you leaving us?'," he said.
"The kid doesn't know anything about it.
"That was really disruptive this week to our team and to our supporters. If anything, it should be an official statement which comes out from the club when that happens, if we receive an offer."
Meanwhile, Arnold said he was proud with the manner in which his team fought out for a draw on Saturday after going down to ten men on 50 minutes when defender Patrick Zwaanswijk was sent off.
"I thought the first half of football was fantastic from both teams," he said. "Second half, after the send off, we had to just go with the two banks of four and try to defend as good as we can," he said.
"You obviously don't intend to do that, but away from home, it's not our job to entertain the fans."
"There won't be many teams who come to Melbourne and take away any points."