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Europa League round of 16 draw

Europa League
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By ESPN Staff

Mariners sign Rizzo ahead of Champions League

Central Coast Mariners have signed former Perth Glory midfielder Nick Rizzo ahead of the upcoming maiden Asian Champions League campaign.

The 29-year-old made 29 appearances and scored once during the last two seasons with Perth.

He was capped at senior international level for Australia against Croatia in 1998 and has also represented his country at every restricted age level, including two substitute appearances for the U23's at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney and two starts and two appearances off the bench for the U17's at the 1995 FIFA U17 World Cup in Ecuador.

"I'm firstly delighted to have been given the chance by the Mariners to contribute to what is an incredibly exciting tournament for any professional to be involved in and one that presents the club with a unique set of challenges," said Rizzo.

"The Mariners have consistently been among the top teams in Australia and I have every confidence that the squad they have assembled for the AFC Champions League 2009 is one that is capable of emulating their domestic success in Asia.

"I look forward to meeting with my new team-mates in the coming weeks and working towards an AFC Champions League campaign that we as a playing group and the whole of the Central Coast can be proud of."

Prior to joining Perth in 2007, Rizzo played in England with Liverpool between 1996 and 1998 and also enjoyed considerable spells with Crystal Palace and Milton Keynes Dons.

Rizzo will link with his new Mariners team-mates in the coming weeks to press his claims for a starting berth ahead of the Mariners' Champions League opener against Korean FA Cup winners Pohang Steelers at Bluetongue Stadium on March 11.

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