All the kids wanted to pictured with A-League star Josh Rose with Luca (3) and brother Harper Grice (4) two of the lucky ones at an Elizabeth Park fundraiser on Saturday.
All the kids wanted to pictured with A-League star Josh Rose with Luca (3) and brother Harper Grice (4) two of the lucky ones at an Elizabeth Park fundraiser on Saturday. Sharyn Oneill

Josh's unfinished business

CENTRAL Coast Mariners star Josh Rose could be forgiven for thinking his return to the A-League for the 2010 season was perfect, but instead he looks upon the year as being unfinished business.

Rose returned to where much of his career began at the weekend when he was the guest speaker at the Berserker Bears fundraising evening at Elizabeth Park.

Apart from answering questions from football followers, Rose took time to have a kick around with youngsters on Saturday afternoon and catch up with old mates when viewing some community football matches on Friday night.

“There were some of the older guys I used to play with, they still go pretty well,” he said.

However, it is what 2011 brings for Rose and his Central Coast team mates that is the forefront of his thoughts.

While Rose was named the season's best player for a Mariners team that finished second in the A-League, it was that loss in the grand final, in the dying moments, to Brisbane Roar that is a spur to do even better.

Training at the Coast is in full swing with Rose taking part in a session on Friday before racing to catch an early evening plane to Rockhampton.

Rose said the main core of the squad and coach Graham Arnold had returned.

“The first thing Arnie (Arnold) said was to forget about the loss (last season),” he said.

Rose said the Mariners have been a losing finalist for three of the past six years and it was even harder to take last season's defeat for the players who had been squad members through all those years than it was for a newcomer like him. Tipped by many as a player for the national squad, Rose has not given up on ideas of wearing the green and gold.

“I've just got to work hard and do it all again. It's always in the back of your mind playing for Australia and now I'm playing over here I just have to impress the right people,” he said.

Although Rose and his young family love life on the Central Coast, the player does not rule out a change of direction with his football career.

“My family has settled well on the Central Coast and so it would have to be the right deal,” he said.

A return to Romania is not high on his list of possibilities although he admitted anywhere in Europe further west could possibly be tempting.

While Rose keeps in touch with family and friends in Central Queensland, Rose said he had not had a chance to see how the Cougars operated.

“I just hope they stick with it and come through,” he said.

Rose said it was up to the players and if they wanted the concept to work.

As for the Mariners in 2011 Rose is confident they can again be a force.

“I'm tipping we will be up there to challenge again,” he said.

Also Rose expects the Roar to be the benchmark while Melbourne Victory and Sydney should not be discounted.

Apart from A-League, Rose also hopes to make his mark with the Mariners in the Asian Championship this year.



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