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By ESPN Staff

Mariners lose sports science guru to Japan

Reigning A-League champions Central Coast Mariners have suffered another personnel blow with long-serving sports science boss Andrew Clark following ex-coach Graham Arnold to Japan's J-League.

Clark has secured a two-year deal to join Arnold at his new club Vegalta Sendai early next year.

A foundation Mariners player and strength and conditioning guru, Clark has served his hometown club since 2005 but said the opportunity was too good to ignore.

"In the past I have been offered the chance to work at other sporting clubs in Australia, but to be frank I have never wanted to work at any other sporting club in Australia," Clark said.

"This opportunity takes me to another level, and gives me the chance to chase my dream of working at the highest standard I can in the football world."

The news comes at a time of upheaval for the Mariners who have slipped down the A-League ladder and continue to leak money to the concern of new majority owner Mike Charlesworth.

On Friday, they officially farewelled Arnold and also general manager and former majority owner Peter Turnbull.

Arnold's coach successor Phil Moss said Clark left with the club's blessing.

"Andrew Clark has been a great contributor to the success of the Central Coast Mariners since year one," Moss said.

"As much as anyone Andrew epitomises what the Mariners are all about, and we know local people think extremely highly of him.

"Clarky is a very ambitious person so a move to the J.League takes him to another level in his career."

"In keeping with the Mariners' philosophy there is a succession plan in place, and Andrew's replacement will be appointed following round 10 in Adelaide."

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