Dynamic defensive duo Trent Sainsbury and Zac Anderson have committed their medium term futures to Central Coast Mariners FC, with both players inking contract extensions to ensure the will remain with the defending Hyundai A-League Champions.
Both Sainsbury and Anderson were set to come off contract at the Mariners at the end of the current campaign, however despite interest from rival Hyundai A-League teams as well as approaches from abroad, the pair have pledged their playing futures to the yellow and navy.
Sainsbury has extended his stay with Central Coast until the completion of the 2015/16 season, while Anderson will remain with the Mariners until the end of the 2014/15 campaign.
Both Sainsbury and Anderson have represented Australia at youth level and are considered to be two of the country’s brightest defensive prospects. Indeed, Sainsbury has been touted as a future Socceroo, while 22-year-old Anderson has blossomed in his time with the Mariners since joining the Club from the now defunct Gold Coast United.
Today the young stars spoke of their delight to have inked their new deals with the men from Gosford’s Bluetongue Stadium.
“I am over the moon to have signed an extension with the Club,” Anderson said. “I’ve come down here [from Queensland] and I have really enjoyed my time. I love playing for the Mariners.”
Sainsbury said: “I have been here for four years now and am really settled and happy here. Arnie [former Central Coast Mariners Head Coach Graham Arnold] and Mossy [Central Coast Mariners Head Coach Phil Moss] both give opportunities to young players, so I know that if I am working hard I’ll get the chance to keep showing what I can do.”
Anderson added that he believes he and Sainsbury can continue to forge one of the competition’s meanest defensive partnerships over the next 18 months.
“Trent has signed on for a couple of years which is fantastic for the Club,” he said. “He’s a very exciting young talent. I have really enjoyed playing next to 'Sains' for the last couple of games, and I think we’re forging a good partnership, a good relationship, and we’ll keep improving.”
Having already had a taste of the elite level abroad via a training stint with FC Basel in the Swiss Super League, Sainsbury explained that he has a strong desire to play overseas – but only when the time is right.
“I have a burning desire to go overseas,” Sainsbury said. “But I don’t want to go over there with nothing behind me - I want to arrive at a Club and be very well respected for what I have achieved in Australia.”
Central Coast Mariners boss Phil Moss said that the Club is pleased to have secured the continued services of Anderson and Sainsbury, noting that the backs still have plenty of room to improve.
“Trent and Zac have become very important players for us,” Moss said. “We’re delighted they have committed to the Club, because they are two players who show great leadership and understand what it takes to achieve at the Hyundai A-League level, and in the AFC Champions League.”
“They are physically strong players with great attitudes, and fit our culture perfectly.”
Central Coast Mariners Group General Manager, Mr Peter Turnbull, believes their re-signing is testament to the Mariners’ approach to football.
“It has always been our ambition to be the club of choice for talented young players, and there are no better examples than Zac and Trent – we are delighted that they have agreed to stay,” Turnbull said.
“We will continue their development with the Mariners, as we are with our next batch of talented kids.”