Central Coast Mariners have launched the 'Yellow and Navy Foundation' to combat some of the hardships of being a youth footballer in Australia.
The foundation aims to provide youth footballers throughout the Mariners academy with assistance in their dream to become a professional.
This includes fully funding the Mariners' men's and women's first-grade National Premier League registration fees and funding 50% of reserve-grade NPL fees.
It's a timely announcement given ongoing criticism of the high cost of registration fees to play football at all levels, with the problem most pronounced in the state leagues.
It's also poignant given the club's former renown as a development hotbed, which has declined over recent seasons.
“Forming the Yellow & Navy Foundation is something that everyone at the Mariners is incredibly proud of,” Foundation Manager, Sharon Baxter said.
“The Central Coast Mariners have always been the Community Club and for us to be able to formalise and increase our community work in the way of a foundation is a big step.
“Not only will the Club increase the fantastic work that’s already happening in the community, the Yellow & Navy Foundationwill increase the focus on player welfare at all levels.
"This focus will ensure that the best young footballers in the country know that the Mariners are creating an environment for players to be the best they can be, regardless of their circumstances."
The foundation's programs also provide support for accommodation and tertiary education, but are appealing to the wider public to offer homestays and employment opportunities.
Baxter was also adamant that the foundation would provide additional balance for the Mariners' academy starlets.
“The Yellow & Navy foundation will encourage and enable Mariners players to take on initiatives outside of football, like: continuing tertiary education; finding flexible employment
“For me personally, this is a great challenge and something I am very passionate about. I care about the wellbeing of our players and want to help them achieve their dreams.
"We want to offer them support in all areas of their life, so that there are no excuses."