Central Coast Mariners confirm departure of Marco Tulio to J1 League club Kyoto Sanga

Central Coast Mariners can today confirm that Marco Tulio will depart the club in January, after an undisclosed fee was agreed with Japanese J1 League club Kyoto Sanga.

The move presents a life-changing opportunity for Marco and his family, with the club opting not to stand in the Brazilian’s way after being informed of his desire to join Kyoto Sanga. 

Whilst desperate to keep Tulio, as a club we were unable to compete with the financial powers of the J-League and specifically his new club. 

Marco leaves with the very best wishes of everybody at the Mariners, departing as an Isuzu UTE A-League Champion with his name unquestionably printed in our history books.

Tulio’s final game as a Mariner will be away to Western Sydney Wanderers on January 6th, with his last home game at Industree Group Stadium being this Sunday, in our New Year’s Eve Double Header against Perth Glory.

The Brazilian joined the club in September 2022 from Portuguese outfit Sporting CP and would play a starring role as we went on to win the A-League Championship.

Tulio contributed ten goals and five assists across 29 games (including the finals) as the Mariners lifted their first Championship in ten years.

Marco hit his finest form of the season right when it mattered for the Central Coast, as he made eight goal contributions, five goals and three assists, in the final seven games. This included a final day brace against Adelaide to secure us a place in the AFC Cup, as we charged towards the Isuzu UTE A-League Finals.

Tulio would once again haunt Adelaide, scoring in the second leg of our semi-final against the Reds, as we booked our place in the Grand Final with a 4-1 aggregate win. 

The Brazilian played every minute of our iconic 6-1 Grand Final victory against Melbourne City and earned a place on the bench of the A-League Team of the Season.

2023 has been a record-breaking year for Tulio, as his superb goalscoring run in the 23/24 AFC Cup saw him finish the group stages as the top scorer with eight goals in six matches. 

His two A-League strikes against Western United and Brisbane Roar recently saw him break the record for the most ever Central Coast Mariners goals in a calendar year with 19, further cementing his place in the Mariners record books.

Speaking on his upcoming transfer, Tulio thanked Mariners fans for their support, saying that the club will always hold a special place in his heart. 

“I would like to thank everyone at the Mariners and on the Central Coast for the past year and a half. I have had an amazing time with the club including winning the Championship last season and your support has meant a lot,” he said. 

“While I am leaving to take up a life changing opportunity in Japan, the Mariners will forever hold an important place in my heart and will always be a club that I remember with great joy.”

Central Coast Mariners Football Manager Mark Jackson wished the Brazilian the very best in the next chapter of his football journey, despite being disappointed to see him depart. 

“We are obviously disappointed to lose such an influential player, but as a club we could never stand in the way of a life-changing move for Marco and his family,” he said. 

“Marco has been a fantastic servant to the club over his time here, helping the club achieve great success. A favourite among fans, we are sad to see him go. We wish him the very best and thank him for his contributions to the Mariners.”