Former Matildas mentor Alen Stajcic has been entrusted by Central Coast Mariners chiefs with turning around the ailing A-League club's fortunes with a new contract until 2022.
The 45-year-old, already acting as caretaker boss after Mike Mulvey's mid-season departure, has agreed a three-year deal to coach the wooden spooners.
Stajcic's six-game stint at season's end, which yielded two wins, was enough to convince boss Mike Charlesworth to hand him a long-term contract.
And his work has already begun, flying to Europe on a scouting trip to help improve the club's playing stocks for next season's kick-off in October.
"We all know that it’s been a tough few years and nostalgically we look back to the glory days, but we need to reflect on the past few years and think about how we can rebuild," Stajcic said.
"For us to become a successful club again, we need the support of the whole community and we need to show mental toughness and resilience to once again become the proud symbol of the Central Coast."
Stajcic was sacked acrimoniously and controversially as coach of the Matildas in February for overseeing a "toxic culture" among the high-performing national women's team.
He will be the fifth full-time coach of the ailing side since title-winning boss Graham Arnold’s departure in 2013.
Phil Moss steered the club to a third-placed finish in 2014 before the rot set in and he was sacked the next season.
Tony Walmsley lasted just one campaign after claiming the club’s first wooden spoon in 2016.
The arrival of Paul Okon was celebrated but the much-loved Socceroo wasn’t able to lift the squad above an eighth-placed finish in 2017.
He left Gosford mid-way through his second campaign and the club fell apart, losing its last six games to pick up a second wooden spoon.
Mulvey, a championship-winner at Brisbane, heralded the club’s “age of mediocrity was over" when he landed last year.
But he did little to lift the club out of their malaise and departed in March, the club’s third wooden spoon in four seasons confirmed shortly after.
Stajcic’s task to arrest the club’s slide will depend largely on resources.
Charlesworth has battled to keep up with big boys in recent campaigns, dipping into the transfer market with little success.
With a mass turnover of players expected again this off-season, the Mariners have wasted no time looking for replacements.
"The board is now working very closely with Alen to ensure that he and his staff have access to the resources needed to build a competitive squad for next season and beyond,” Charlesworth said.
“Next season's squad recruitment is already in full swing. Alen is currently in Europe scouting potential players for next year’s visa spots."