The Central Coast Mariners have made their intentions clear for the 2022/23 season by signing two impressive young players with A-League experience under their belt.
Thomas Aquilina bolsters the ranks of the Yellow and Navy from Western Sydney Wanderers where he made 40 appearances and provided two assists this season.
Michael Ruhs joins the Mariners from Macarthur FC where he amassed almost 30 games for the Bulls and famously scored against the Gosford club in last season’s Elimination Final.
Aquilina, 21 years-old is an attacking right back gifted with pace which will be a real asset to Nick Montgomery and his style of play, developing this ability through the Blacktown Spartans system before joining the Western Sydney Wanderers in 2017.
The 19-year-old Ruhs is a highly rated midfielder who has already represented Australia at U17 level at the U17 World Cup in 2019 and can play either on the wing or as an attacking midfielder.
Both players will be a strong addition to the squad at Montgomery’s disposal as he looks to continue to build upon the success of last season.
“Identifying young players with potential is something that we pride ourselves on at the Mariners and when we looked at both Thomas and Michael, we could see that they fit our model.
“Thomas can bring a lot to our attack, and he is a player that can play on the right and the left, giving us a variety of options. Michael is a player that at 19, already possesses qualities of someone many years his senior” Montgomery said.
“I look forward to working with both of them during pre-season and for them to hit the ground running.”
Thomas Aquilina joins the Mariners after scoring in pre-season against them and is relishing the chance to prove his worth to the Central Coast community.
“I’m an attack minded player who knows how important it is for a modern-day full back to contribute in the attack to help provide assists & goals and I want to do that for the Mariners.
“I’ve spoken to Monty [Nick Montgomery] & Serg [Sergio Raimundo – Assistant Coach] a lot throughout the off-season & I’ve always heard greats things from players about the way they work. They’re coaches I want to work for, and I know they will better me on & off the pitch” Aquilina added.
“After seeing the last season & the way that this club is progressing, I knew this is where I wanted to be, and I really feel that the club can sustain these levels or even surpass them.”
Michael Ruhs expressed his delight in signing for the Yellow and Navy.
“When you look at what the Mariners are able to do with young players, I would be foolish to go anywhere else.
“I can’t wait to work with Monty [Nick Montgomery] as I have already spoken to him at length about the project he is trying to build, and I think I can be a real asset to him and the club” Ruhs said.
“I think I can bring my strong and powerful play style to the club, which I think, will fit in with the intensity that the Mariners play with.”
Ruhs and Aquilina will join up with the squad when the team returns to training ahead of the Australia Cup Round of 32.
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