Dual signings boost A-League Mariners
In-demand rookie Tomas Rogic and veteran defender Patrick Zwaanswijk have given the Central Coast Mariners a boost by committing to the club for a further A-League season.
The off-contract duo played significant roles in the Mariners' surge to the Premiers;' Plate, and Thursday's announcement means they will both remain with the club until the end of the 2013 Asian Champions League group stage.
At 37, Zwaanswijk has proved himself to be one of the most successful imports in the history of the A-League, and seven goals in the most recent season convinced coach Graham Arnold that he had the desire and fitness to go around again.
"Patrick wanted to play another season and we wanted Patrick to remain a Mariner. He has proven in his two seasons in Australia so far that he is one of the best foreign players ever to play in the country," Arnold said.
"We know and expect Patrick will give us the same level of performance next season as he has in the past two years at the club."
With Mustafa Amini's departure to German side Borussia Dortmund, and Arnold's personal preference of playing with a creative central midfielder, the signing of Rogic is an important one.
Rogic's eye-catching performances at the tail end of last season were followed by speculation he would link up with Newcastle, Melbourne Victory or possibly make an overseas move.
However, the youngster decided the best place for him to continue his development as a player would be at the Mariners.
"I'm pretty grateful to have the other offers that I received (but) I guess I was leaning towards the Mariners because Arnie is here and they gave me a chance in the first place," Rogic said.
"I just thought it was the best decision for my football career at this point in time and a decision that will give me the best chance to develop as a player."