'I do not want to stand in the way of these good young players': Cisse embraces new role at Mariners

Kalifa Cisse has accepted an off-field role within the Central Coast Mariners academy after the defender's contract with the Hyundai A-League club was terminated by mutual consent.

Cisse, 35, has struggled with Achilles tendon issues since joining the Mariners in pre-season and hangs up his boots after a glamorous 14-year playing career.

He will now use that experience to help nurture the next generation of Mariners talent working as the club's Youth Ambassador and Community Development Officer.

“Working with young players is something I’ve always wanted to do, so this is an exciting opportunity for me,” Cisse told the club's official website.

“Not only do I want to use my experience to help the young players within the academy, I also want to learn from the coaches who have experience within the Mariners Academy.

Featured image courtesy of ccmariners.com.au

Kalifa Cisse; Brandon Wilson

“The Mariners are lucky to have some great young defenders coming through.

"Originally, I signed here to help the players on the field, but at 35 I have made the difficult decision to step out as a player, I do not want to stand in the way of these good young players – so for me this is a good decision and will provide these young players with more opportunities to play.

“I’ve been battling the injury since about a month after the season started.

"For my age, it’s a very complicated thing to fight, so it’s time for me to step aside and let a younger player who is 100% fit to step in and give it their all."

Cisse will coach the Central Coast Academy Under 15's team during their upcoming National Premier League season.

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