THE Kempsey Saints have enlisted the help of a Hungarian soccer star to launch their 2015 season with Central Cost Mariners player, Richard Vernes, to be part of Thursday’s jersey presentation.
In what is a major coup for the club, the attacking midfielder will meet young fans at the Saints training ground from 4.30pm before heading to the West Kempsey Hotel for the club’s official season launch.
The visit was set up by the Saints new coach, Barry Horsfall, who has previously held various roles within Soccer Australia.
He contacted Mariners Vice chairman, Peter Storrie, in relation to the Saints launch whereby it was agreed that a player from the club would visit Kempsey for the event.
Horsfall said Storrie shared his desire to grow the game at a community level.
“It is all part of a new look for the club,” Horsfall said.
“I spoke with Peter about creating interest at a grassroots level and the importance of community development and he was quick to jump onboard. We want to show our commitment to doing certain things for the club.”
Richárd Vernes joined the Central Coast Mariners on a two-season deal from Hungarian outfit, Budapest Honvéd, in July 2014.
Having represented Hungary at a youth level, he is an exciting prospect with plenty of potential to develop while at the Hyundai A-League club.
Vernes has averaged a goal every five games during his time in the Hungary’s OTP Bank Liga – he scored six goals throughout Budapest Honvéd’s 2013-14 campaign, including one in the Europa League.
A former Ferencvàros junior, Vernes arrives at the yellow and navy on the glowing recommendation of Hungarian great, Lajos Detari.
There has already been plenty of interest surrounding his arrival with a sizeable crowd expected to gather at the training grounds on Thursday afternoon.
Horsfall hinted their may be further opportunity for another big name visit in the future.
“My original idea was to get Socceroos coach, Ange Postecoglou, to come out and visit,” he said.
“I’m sure he would have loved to come along and support soccer in this area, but because of the Socceroos friendly against Germany last week, he has decided to stay on in Europe for a bit longer and check on a couple of players. I remain hopeful that he will eventually accept my invitation when he is available.”
The Kempsey Saints jersey presentation will take place at the West Kempsey Hotel from 7pm on Thursday.