Central Coast Mariners Football Club was established in 2004, after making a successful bid for a franchise in the newly-created A-League. Initially considered one of the league's smaller franchises, the team have exceeded the expectations of many on-lookers and have achieved significant levels of success. Their two biggest rivals are the Newcastle Jets, with whom they contest the F3 Derby, and Sydney FC, their opponents in the New South Wales Derby. The Mariners are affiliated with a number of overseas teams, including Sheffield United and São Paulo.
The club's debut season got off to an extremely promising start, as they won the inaugural Pre-Season Challenge Cup, beating Perth Glory 1-0 in the final. In the regular season, they finished in 3rd place and advanced to the Finals Series. After beating the Newcastle Jets and Adelaide United, the Mariners made it all the way to the Grand Final, where they were beaten by Sydney FC.
In total, the Mariners have finished the regular season as Premiership winners on two occasions, in the 2007–08 and 2011–12 seasons. In the 2012–13 campaign, they won their first ever A-League Championship, overcoming the newly-formed Western Sydney Wanderers in the Grand Final. The side appeared in the AFC Champions League in 2009 and 2012, but failed to get beyond the group stage on either attempt.
Amongst the club's most notable past players are Australian legend, John Aloisi; two-time Mariners Medal winner, Danny Vukovic and the former team captain, Alex Wilkinson. Wilkinson is also the side's record appearance maker, while Matt Simon holds the record for most goals.
The Mariners play their home games at Central Coast Stadium, which is known as Bluetongue Stadium for sponsorship reasons. The venue first opened in 2000 and occasionally hosts rugby league and rugby union matches. It is able to hold a maximum of 20,059 spectators.