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May 13, 2013

McBreen signs new one-year Mariners deal

A-League golden boot Daniel McBreen reckoned he could play another five years but settled for a new one-year deal with champions Central Coast Mariners on Monday.

McBreen accepted that his age - 36 - deterred coach Graham Arnold from backing him past 2014, but was adamant he'd earn another deal next season.

"I was hoping for 10 years but they wouldn't give me 10," joked McBreen, who capped a career-best season with his 19th goal in the Mariners' 2-0 grand final win over Western Sydney last month, earning the Joe Marston Medal.

"He (Arnold) said at my age, it's a year-by-year basis, so I'll just go out there and try and do the same next year and get another contract.

"I've stated before that if they gave me a five-year-deal, I reckon I could see it out."

McBreen, who has been with the Mariners since 2010, fielded various offers from other clubs in Australia and abroad but none really appealed.

"I've stated many times that I wanted to be here and we had plenty of discussions about it," McBreen said.

"I'm just glad to get it all sorted out and to be here for another year.

"There was a lot of talk about clubs overseas and other A-League teams, but nothing really materialised that I was happy with."

Some of the Mariners young guns - the likes of midfielder Bernie Ibini, defender Trent Sainsbury and goalkeeper Mathew Ryan - are likely to make moves overseas, but McBreen was confident the team could contend for back-to-back championships.

"You don't want to win the league and then everyone disappear and then fall away the next season," he said.

"We've got aspirations to defend the championship so we'll be working hard to be as strong as ever.

"We're not going to take the foot off the pedal."

Before a championship defence however, the Mariners' next task is an Asian Champions League (ACL) round-of-16 clash against Chinese heavyweights Guangzhou Evergrande.

The side coached by Italian World Cup-winning mentor Marcello Lippi arrived in Sydney on Sunday for Wednesday's first leg at Bluetongue Stadium.

The Mariners will then travel to Guangzhou seven days later with the winner over both legs advancing to the quarter-finals.

Lippi, who led Guangzhou to the Chinese Super League championship last year and boasts five Serie A titles with Juventus, will be the most high-profile manager to grace Gosford.

But McBreen wasn't intimidated.

"He won't be on the pitch so I won't have to worry about him," he joked.

"They've got some great players but we want to go out there and try to make the quarter-finals and put on a good show and really shake it up."

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