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Garcia's impact still felt at Mariners

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 10/11/2016 Matt Encarnacion

The Luis Garcia sideshow might be over but his A-League influence hasn't gone as Central Coast Mariners prepare to host the Wellington Phoenix.

The former Liverpool midfielder played just 10 games for the Mariners last year but captain Nick Montgomery believes Garcia's impact will resonate through the club for the rest of the summer.

He hopes it continues to resonate in Saturday's game in Canberra.

"For me, it was leaving an impact on them young players because he was a fantastic professional," Montgomery said.

"I still keep in touch with him now; he was texting me before asking how pre-season was going."

Rising midfielder Liam Rose spent the most time at the feet of the former Spanish international, having roomed with him on a number of road trips.

Since coming back from Olyroos duty, the 20-year-old has come off the bench late in the Mariners' past two games but is considered integral to their roster.

Montgomery said he was looking forward to Rose's impact as the Mariners pushed to improve on last season's disappointing finish.

"Luis worked quite closely with Liam, helping him out a lot on his game," he said.

"Hopefully, I can carry that on and try and get that work ethic into him because he's a fantastic player and will be exciting for us this year."

After failing to win in the opening four rounds of the season, the Mariners hope to back up last week's breakthrough win over Adelaide with victory on Sunday over Wellington.

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