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Central Coast's McKinna to assist Chengdu Blades

Central Coast Mariners Football and Commercial Operations Manager Lawrie McKinna will head to the Mariners' Chinese sister club Chengdu Blades tonight, to help with a review of its coaching structure, and to oversee its current practices, following the recent departure of the club's former manager.

The move comes amid strengthening ties between the two clubs, along with English Championship club Sheffield United.

"The Chinese Super League starts in a couple of weeks and Sheffield United has asked me to go over and have a look at the coaching set-up," said McKinna.

"We have a great relationship with Chengdu and I'm only too happy to help out. I'll be heading over tonight and taking my laptop with me so I can continue on with a lot of work I'm currently undertaking with both the Mariners Football Club and the Centre of Excellence development."

McKinna's vast coaching experience makes him the ideal man to help Chengdu through their current situation, having won Coach of the Year titles in both the National Soccer League and the Hyundai A-League, and leading the Mariners to two Grand Finals, a Premiership, an Asian Champions League campaign, and a Pre-Season Cup title.

"I have obviously had experience in Asia with the ACL in the past and I know quite a few of the people within Chengdu already, so hopefully I will be able to help out in some way," said McKinna.

Mariners Chairman Peter Turnbull says Chengdu's approach to McKinna is testament to the high regard the Mariners are held within the Sheffield United "Blades Family" network of clubs.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for Lawrie to be able to assist another member of the "Blades Family". Chengdu is a fantastic club and Lawrie has had great experiences with Sheffield United in the past, having swapped coaching ideas with staff at Bramall Lane previously. I'm sure his expertise will be a positive for all involved, and we are excited to be able to continue to develop the strong ties we have with these clubs," said Turnbull.

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