'Okon didn't speak to me' - Mariners exit still hurts Hutchinson

ShareClose Comments
The former defensive midfielder is loving life in the United States but concedes his departure from Central Coast has left a bitter taste


EXCLUSIVE

John Hutchinson has revealed that Central Coast Mariners coach Paul Okon never spoke to him during his departure from the club where he spent 12 years.

The former Mariners skipper was an assistant coach under Okon's predecessor Tony Walmsley and made a "mutual agreement" with Central Coast to depart the club in August on the same day the ex-Socceroos midfielder took over in Gosford.

Speaking to Goal in his first interview since beginning work as an assistant coach with the reserve team of MLS outfit Seattle Sounders, Hutchinson revealed his disappointment at the way he was discarded by the Mariners.

"It was obviously tough. Once Tony got sacked and you know you're in limbo land because a new coach is going to come in and not want you, and all that kind of stuff," he said.

Paul Okon Central Coast Mariners v Brisbane Roar A-League 22102016

Paul Okon, Central Coast Mariners

"Once Okon got the job and I hadn't spoken to him at all at that stage, you know you're not going to keep your job anyway.

Okon named Central Coast Mariners coach

"I had myself prepared once Tony left I was going to lose my job. Okon didn't speak to me at all the whole time.

"So in terms of that, that was really disappointing. To be at a club for 12 years and the head coach can't even have a chat to you - that was really disappointing."

Hutchinson still hopes to return to Gosford and coach the Mariners one day but concedes "I don't really have much to do with them at the moment, which is sad".

John Hutchinson Melbourne City 2-2 Central Coast Mariners A-League 161114

John Hutchinson, Central Coast Mariners

The former midfielder was a member of the Mariners' inaugural squad and played 228 A-League matches, which makes him the club's games record holder.

Aussie coaches forging a path abroad

After leaving Central Coast in August, Hutchinson travelled around the world on a professional development tour.

"Just to have a look about, see what other teams do and just see some different coaching styles and all that," Hutchinson explained.

"So my first stop was actually Seattle and I came here because I'd made contact with Dave Tenney, who is the 'S and C' [strength and conditioning] guru here, and I came over for a week here.

"Went to Qatar as well, went to Hong Kong and then I emailed the [Sounders'] GM when they made the [2016 MLS Cup final] to wish them all the best and from there, they told me a coaching job was available. I applied for it, went through the interview process and got the job."

Ex-Mariners skipper lands American coaching job

The Gippsland-born coach is relishing his time in the Pacific Northwest, with S2 sitting fifth in the USL's Western Conference after 10 games.

Article continues below

"It's an incredible football club, a wonderful club. It's run so well. It's highly professional; the training facilities are really good," Hutchinson said.

The 37-year-old added: "I think Australia needs [a professional second division] desperately… so we can keep players in Australia, and they can stay there and become better footballers and the coaches don't have to go hunting around the world looking for jobs.

"I'm enjoying my time, though, here. I wouldn't want it any other way."

Next article:
Mane cracker named UEFA Champions League Goal Of The Week, presented by Nissan!
Next article:
ISL 2017: Sena Ralte back in contention for FC Goa game
Next article:
Syamer relishing opportunity to play in Portugal
Next article:
I-League 2017: Chencho Gyeltshen is taking comeback kings Minerva Punjab to the top
Next article:
Kenya - Burundi Preview: D-day for Harambee Stars in Cecafa
Close