Former Auckland City defender Brian Kaltak has proved persistence can pay off after landing a two-year professional contract with A-League club Central Coast Mariners.
At the age of 29, and after 10 years of trying to land a professional contract, the Mariners deal becomes his first long-term agreement with a club.
Main photo: Brian Kaltak (centre) … his first long-term contract. Photo: Central Coast Mariners.
He’s been playing for the Mariners this season on a short-term deal as an injury replacement player. He has made 10 appearances, and the club has rewarded him with a deal that will see him stay at the club until the end of the 2024-25 season.
The Vanuatu national team captain has previously played for Auckland City and he had trials with the Wellington Phoenix before trying his luck in Australia.
“It has taken me a while to get my professional contract, now that I am here looking back, what a journey it has been. I am grateful and just happy to be here.
“This is one of the things that I have always dreamed of.”
Head coach Montgomery: ‘He has a big future ahead’
Mariners head coach Nick Montgomery said:
“Brian is an exceptional human being, first and foremost. He is one of the most genuine and humble players I have come across.
“It defies belief that no one took a chance on him before.
“He is an inspiration not only for everyone in Vanuatu but also an inspiration to his teammates who know his journey and hold him in the highest regard.
“Brian deserves all the plaudits he has been given so far and has proved so many people wrong. That’s what I love the most about him and that’s why he already has hero status at the club amongst the fans.
“He is a pleasure to work with every day and is only going to continue to improve which is a scary thought, and we are lucky to have him at our club.
“Brian had offers from a few A-League clubs but he is loyal and knows that the Mariners is his club now and he has a big future ahead of him.”
More about Brian Kaltak
Kaltak’s football career began with the Vanuatu Football Federation’s academy at Teouma before he joined his hometown club, Erakor Golden Star FC.
He moved to New Zealand where he played for Waterside Karori, Tasman United and Auckland City, for whom he played about 50 games after moving to Kiwitea St in 2018.