Fold mountains

Tool Trophies for Mariners’ Farrell | Blue Mountains Gazette

With flowing blonde hair and a baggy game jersey that looks a few sizes too big, Jacob Farrell looks more like an extra from a 1970s surf movie than a no-frills left-back for the Central side A-League Men. Coast.

But appearances are deceiving and the unflappable 19-year-old has been one of the Mariners’ stars this season since his debut under new coach Nick Montgomery.

Farrell’s senior career is only 11 games long, but he already has the chance to win his first piece of silverware when the Mariners travel to AAMI Park on Saturday to face Melbourne Victory in the FFA Cup Final.

It all seemed impossible last year when Farrell left a lifelong professional football career on the tools.

“I didn’t enjoy it (playing for the Mariners academy) as much as I should and it was more my decision to leave,” Farrell told AAP.

“I went to another club, Valentine FC in the Newcastle NPL, to play against men.

“While I was doing that, I was working with my dad as a plasterer and I didn’t like it too much.

“I regretted leaving and thought I’d better go back to the Mariners.”

Farrell contacted Montgomery, who had coached him at the academy, and was asked to return to the fold.

“I didn’t really expect to start every game, but it was good to have the opportunity,” Farrell said.

“I’m happy with the way I played and the way the team went, so it’s a good start and hopefully I can continue to play well.”

Farrell played so well that he was nominated for the A-League Men’s Young Player of the Year award, thanks to his performances in November and December.

Former Socceroos winners include Mat Ryan, Daniel Arzani and Riley McGree while last year’s winner Joel King, 21, made his full debut for Australia last week and sealed a move from Sydney FC to the Danish team OB.

Farrell, too, has ambitions to play at a higher level and a Cup final victory so early in his career would undoubtedly boost his standings.

“It’s pretty amazing to have reached the final so early in my career,” he said.

“We did the work to get here and I think we deserve a good chance.

“Come on Saturday, we will be ready and we would love to go to Melbourne and get the win.”

Australian Associated Press