Nieuwenhof scored a goal on debut after an impressive stint with the Sky Blues at the AFC Champions League and carried that form into the domestic season with a brilliant debut. The Commerce student was delighted with the opportunity and was happy he was able to take full advantage of his chances.

"It's been very surreal," he told the Sydney Morning Herald. "I couldn't believe it, to be honest. I've had a lot of messages from friends and everyone just showing a lot of support. It's been great, I couldn't have asked for a better debut and goal."

Meanwhile Max Balard also impressed in his debut, coming off the bench to play in defence for the Mariners. Balard, who is a Ben Lexcen scholar studying Commerce and Economics at the UNSW Business School, was very pleased to make his debut after being part of the Mariners wider squad for the past two years.