Goalkeeper Vanstrattan signs for Mariners
Goalkeeper Jess Vanstrattan has joined Central Coast Mariners after Gold Coast United agreed to his request to be released, with the Queensland outfit bringing in Glen Moss from Melbourne Victory to replace the 27-year-old.
Vanstrattan was keen to return home and as a result, Gold Coast decided to terminate the former Juventus keeper's contract so a deal could be worked out.
"There was interest in Jess from the Central Coast Mariners and Jess himself indicated that he would like to make the move which will take him closer to his family roots,'' said Gold Coast CEO Clive Mensink. "On this occasion we did not want to stand in Jess' way and we wish him all the very best for the future. He is an excellent goalkeeper and I'm sure he will do very well for the Mariners.''
Vanstrattan will once again link up with Central Coast boss Graham Arnold. The former Australia manager was his first professional coach at Northern Spirit.
"I'm looking forward to it,'' said Vanstrattan. "I suppose it was a bit of a no brainer when this deal came up as a possibility. I felt from Arnie's (Arnold) end and my end that there was always a commitment to try to make it happen if it was possible, and it has ended up coming to fruition so I'm pretty happy with that.
"Not that I didn't enjoy myself on the Gold Coast, it's a nice place, but home is home and I've got a lot of friends and family down there.''
Coach Miron Bleiberg moved quickly to fill the void left by Vanstrattan's departure, however, bringing in New Zealand international Moss from Melbourne. Moss, who would have been the All Whites' first-choice at the World Cup were he not suspended for the opening two group games, admitted the opportunity of regular football was too good to turn down.
"As a goalkeeper you really have to be playing week in, week out, and I feel I have a better chance of playing regular football up north,'' said the 27-year-old. "I've thoroughly enjoyed my time in Melbourne and made some terrific friends along the way. We're parting on good terms and I wish the guys the best of luck for the season ahead.''
Melbourne coach Ernie Merrick wished Moss well at his new club.
"Glen's been a good player for us and a great person to have around the club, but unfortunately things didn't quite work out for him here in Melbourne,'' said the Scot. "He's a high-quality 'keeper, and barring suspension would've been in goal for New Zealand at the recent World Cup, so there's no doubting his ability.''