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Sports News of Monday, 29 May 2017

Source: GHANAsoccernet.com

Kwabena Appiah signs one-year contract extension with central Coast Mariners

Ghanaian winger Kwabena Appiah has signed a one-year contract extension the Central Coast Mariners.

Fourfourtwo reports the lightning fast attacker will remain in yellow and navy until the end of the 2017/18 A-League campaign after impressing coaching staff last season.

Appiah began the season as an impact substitute, but worked his way into Paul Okon's starting XI during the second half of the season.

The 25-year-old's marauding runs down the right-flank became a familiar sight to fans at Central Coast Stadium. Last season he scored twice, both times against Adelaide United.

Appiah said: “(2016/17) was obviously my best season of football playing under Paolo – I started off really slow but then grew into it.

“Over the last few years I struggled to find confidence within myself and never showed what I could do, but under Paolo, Ivan Jolic (Assistant Coach) and the Mariners fans this season, they all gave me the confidence I needed to play at levels that I never thought were possible.

"For that, I’m forever grateful, which is why it was a no brainer to stay and play under the duo again and continue to improve my game each day."

The former Western Sydney Wanderers and Wellington Phoenix winger returned to the Gosford outfit in 2016/17.

It was a homecoming of sorts after winning the 2011/12 Foxtel National Youth League title with the Mariners alongside the likes of Mitch Duke, Bernie Ibini and Tom Rogic.

Appiah added: “My personal goals for next season are to obviously continue scoring goals and cementing that starting spot once again.

“I'm confident that with the signings the coaching staff bring in, we will be an exciting team and contend for a top six spot."

Okon praised the 25-year-old speedster for his hard work and determination, saying the best was yet to come for "Kabsy".

“Kwabena’s attitude and work ethic really won me over during the course of the season,” Okon said.

“Whenever he was called upon, in our eyes, he delivered. We were delighted for him when he scored his first A-League goal and towards the back end of the season he was one of the first players on our team sheet.

“There’s definitely improvement in him, we saw that every day at training and more often than not training is what decides the line up on the weekend and his application at training allowed him to get to a level where he could perform consistently well for us.

That’s part of the reason why we showed faith in him and offered him a new deal.

“At most professional clubs, players have to battle for spots. Last season we were in a good position where we had four very good wingers to choose from and as a coach it’s the best headache to have when you have a fit Trent Buhagiar and Kwabena Appiah to choose from and the team will only benefit from that."