The Central Coast Mariners’ long-term ambitions have today received a major shot in the arm with confirmation that standout youth internationals Pedj Bojic and Danny Vukovic have re-signed with the reigning Hyundai A-League Premiers for two and three more seasons respectively.
The Central Coast Mariners- long-term ambitions have today received a major shot in the arm with confirmation that standout youth internationals Pedj Bojic and Danny Vukovic have re-signed with the reigning Hyundai A-League Premiers for two and three more seasons respectively.
In August, Bojic was first introduced to the Hyundai A-League by the Mariners after several seasons in England-s lower leagues and has impressed at every turn since – starting each of the Mariners- seven Hyundai A-League 2008/09 fixtures to date and producing several standout showings across the yellow and navy back line.
Vukovic, who will return from a five-match suspension when the Mariners themselves return from a one-week hiatus due to the FIFA international break, has signed on for a longer stay at the Mariners than any current player or coach – his three-year deal ensuring that the outstanding custodian will remain at Bluetongue Stadium until 2012.
With a maiden AFC Champions League campaign to look forward to, the Mariners- have now added two exceptional talents to an impressive line up that has already been secured beyond the current season – Nigel Boogaard, Adrian Caceres, Ahmad Elrich, Dean Heffernan, John Hutchinson, Mile Jedinak, Dylan Macallister, Bradley Porter and Matt Simon.
“We-ve entered unchartered territory in terms of the competition for players- signatures following the inclusion of two new teams from the next Hyundai A-League season onwards and with that in mind, we-re delighted to have secured two of our most promising talents for beyond the current season” said Mariners Executive Chairman Lyall Gorman.
“Pedj has quite simply exploded onto the Hyundai A-League scene after joining us from the NSW Premier League and we-re aware that his progress had caught the attention of some of our rivals and to that end, we-re delighted that Pedj has accepted a deserved chance to further his career at the Mariners where he has settled in fantastically.
“Danny has enjoyed a colourful career at the Mariners and we have been incredibly impressed with the growth in stature and character on and off the field of what we believe to be the best goalkeeper in the Hyundai A-League and one of Australia-s most outstanding international prospects.
“Today-s announcement is the first step of securing our line up for, firstly, the AFC Champions League, and past that, season five and beyond of the Hyundai A-League, where we-ll be looking to consolidate upon our exceptional start to this new era of football in Australia.”
Bojic, 24, has made eight competitive appearances to date for the yellow and navy after debuting in the second round of the 2008 Pre-Season Cup against Sydney FC at Bluetongue Stadium.
Capped at Qantas Joeys (Under 17-s) level, Bojic has consistently showcased the form that made the robust and versatile defender a crowd favourite at English Football League 1 side Northampton Town between 2004 and 2007 and has well and truly convinced onlookers of his potential as a Hyundai A-League talent.
“I-ve really enjoyed the adjustment to the Hyundai A-League, particularly with the support of the Mariners club and my team-mates and I-m thrilled to have extended my time at the club for a further two seasons,” said Bojic.
“The current Hyundai A-League season has been exciting as it is, but looking ahead to Asia and the ambitions that this club has in future years is just as exciting and as a player, the exact type of club that you want to play for and I hope to play a big part in all that we have to look forward to this season and beyond.”
23-year-old Vukovic has been one of greatest young talents uncovered by the Mariners and the Hyundai A-League since the competition-s inception, during which time the Sydney-born shot stopper has made 74 competitive appearances for the yellow and navy and kept an impressive 23 clean sheets.
The only member of the Qantas Under 23-s to play in each match of Australia-s historic qualification campaign through Asia bound for Beijing, Vukovic has accumulated match experience in Australia and throughout Asia well beyond his years and looms as a pivotal figure for club and country in the future.
“I-m very thankful for all that the Mariners have done for me personally and professionally since I first came to the club and for me, there-s never been any question that the only Hyundai A-League club I would play for would be the Mariners,” said Vukovic.
“Firstly, I can-t wait to put my hand up for selection against the Wellington Phoenix in a fortnight-s time and after that, we have a huge season to look forward to, followed by the AFC Champions League which will take this club to new heights on and off the field.
“I-m delighted to have now extended my stay at the club – we have a tremendous group of players, coaches and administration here at the Mariners and it-s exciting to know that I-ll be apart of this culture for a long time to come.”
The Mariners- Hyundai A-League 2008/09 campaign continues at Bluetongue Stadium on Sunday, 19 October, when they host the Wellington Phoenix in Round 8. Kick off is at 3pm.
Tickets for this match are on sale from Ticketek outlets, from the Ticketek website – www.ticketek.com.au, or via phone on 132 849.