Island Boys Lead Central Coast Mariners to A-League Men Title Bid

Island Boys Lead Central Coast Mariners to A-League Men Title Bid

The bond between Dan Hall and Brian Kaltak is more than just a professional partnership; it’s a story of mutual respect and shared heritage. As the Central Coast Mariners aim for a second consecutive A-League Men title, Hall and Kaltak’s formidable defensive pairing has been crucial to their success. Island Boys Lead Central Coast Mariners to A-League Men Title Bid

Hall, born in Fiji and raised in Australia by adoptive parents, and Vanuatu international Kaltak have emerged as one of the most effective center-back duos in the league this season. “It’s crazy to have two island boys playing at centre back together,” Kaltak said. “What we both do, we want to inspire other guys to make it to this high level of football.”

Kaltak, who only signed his first professional contract last year at the age of 30, has been a revelation. Alongside him, 24-year-old Hall has enjoyed a standout season, contributing to the Mariners’ league-high 13 clean sheets.

Hall is expected to move to ALM newcomers Auckland after Saturday’s grand final against Melbourne Victory. Despite his impending departure, he cherishes the experience of playing alongside Kaltak. “I’m just happy to be next to the brick wall of Gosford,” Hall said. “I’m happy to be his sidekick. All the praise and accolades he gets are deserved because he’s been such a huge part of this team.”

Reflecting on Kaltak’s journey and influence, Hall added, “To learn off him, have a laugh on and off the pitch … Brian is a top guy and I’ve loved every moment of playing next to him. It’s still crazy it’s only his second year as a professional. To have someone like Brian waving the flag and representing the islands so well is inspirational. If you look at how he managed to get to where he is, it inspires anyone – not just people from the islands, but anyone who listens to his story.”

Kaltak has equally admired Hall’s resilience and growth, especially after Hall lost his starting spot to Nectar Triantis during the Mariners’ run to last year’s grand final. “He got his injury and then he was left out of the starting side and Nectar came in,” Kaltak recalled. “But this season he has really stood up in his position and he owns it every week. He’s so good. I’m proud of what he’s achieved this season.”

As they prepare for the grand final, Kaltak hopes to see Hall finish his Mariners stint on a high note. “I want him to savour every last minute and finish with a trophy,” Kaltak said.

With their remarkable partnership and inspiring stories, Hall and Kaltak are not just defending their title—they’re paving the way for future generations of island players to dream big and achieve greatness.

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