Mariners owner Mike Charlesworth was looking cheerful and confident.
As he told fans about the surprise signing of Tommy Oar and Ross McCormack, he had a lilt in his voice and a glint in his eye.
He seemed intent on capitalising on the buoyant community mood surrounding the trial of Usain Bolt.
Speaking directly to fans on video via Facebook on Thursday, he assured them that the club was on an upward trajectory.
“Over the years, we’ve obviously experienced our fair share of ups and downs. But right now, I feel particularly optimistic about the club’s future,” he said.
He continued, talking up new signings, sponsors and the appointment of Mike Mulvey and Mike Phelan as coach and sporting director respectively.
Charlesworth seemed like he genuinely wanted the Mariners to again be a club capable of challenging for silverware.
Fans had seriously wondered whether this side of Charlesworth existed. Wherever it came from, they were glad to see it.
In the video, Charlesworth made mention of Matt Simon.
“We’ve welcomed back club legends who will make sure that anyone who walks into our dressing room lives by the culture and winning spirit of the Mariners,” he said.
It was worth questioning whether Charlesworth himself had suddenly discovered this spirit. Here he was, on video no less, showing a desire to return the club to winning ways.
It was the kind of desire that the 32-year-old Simon has in spades. The snarling, seething striker has returned to his hometown club after three years with Sydney FC.
It’s this experience and renowned passion that may prove important in the season ahead, along with the new signings.
Simon bagged a hat-trick on Wednesday night in a friendly match against State League premiers Central Coast United.
He stood out in the 4-0 victory, which was also notable for the high-pressing, high-tempo style that coach Mulvey has introduced.
It wasn’t purely his ability to finish, it was his attitude and winning mentality.
He threw himself into challenges, swore, complained and cajoled, traits his side undoubtedly need.
While talented footballers are the main thing the Mariners need, a character like Simon who can rally and motivate is also required.
Which brings us to the much-hyped trial of sprint king Bolt, which has spread thrills and excitement through the Central Coast community.
Charlesworth himself has clearly felt the buzz. At the end of the video, he made a pitch to the public to get to games and become members.
“Believe that we can have a huge year because I do,” he said.
This was Charlesworth the marketing man, as well as owner.
“Don’t just buy a ticket, become a member,” he said.
“If we can reach 10,000 members, I promise you we’ll be able to invest more money into this football club that will support the club for years to come.”
It was a big promise but also a big ask. Last season, the club's average crowds were about 7200.
Charlesworth, no doubt, hopes the hype around Bolt will translate into better attendances.
But to achieve that, will Bolt have to stay? And if he has to stay, does he have to play?
Those who want the club to play quality football will await answers to these questions.
For now, though, the fans are placated. Charlesworth is spending money and seems to want the club to succeed again.
Soon enough, we’ll see if it can.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.