CENTRAL Coast Mariners boss Graham Arnold has described his delight in heading into his teams off-season with 21 of a possible 23 players already snapped up for next season, but says he is looking at adding another attacker before the new campaign.
The yellow and navy recently re-signed Dutch defender Patrick Zwaanswijk, creative midfielder Tomas Rogic and hardworking fullback Pedj Bojic to new deals, combined with adding former Gold Coast United stopper Zac Anderson to the Club's roster.
With the bulk of the Mariners squad set to stay the same next season, Arnold believes such continuity will assist his side in achieving its goals next term.
“The players are about to head off on a month long break which they have certainly earned,” Arnold said on Tuesday.
“It has been a long season but we are very pleased to have retained the players we have. We will be looking for improvements in each squad member next season.”
“I am looking for the experienced players to show even greater leadership on and off the park, and we expect an improvement of ten to 15 per cent from our young boys.”
“Everyone knows how much I think of our young players, and we will be working closely with them to ensure they take their game to another level.”
“Our squad staying reasonably stable ensures we have a great chance of success again next season,” he said.
Although clearly pleased with the team he has compiled for the 2012/13 campaign, Arnold admitted he is in the market for a striker capable of making his mark on Australia’s top flight in Hyundai A-League season eight.
Indeed, the wily mentor hinted a foreign marksman could be on the cards for Central Coast, with the coach having already notified his web of contacts around the globe about his intent to recruit a talented number nine.
“I have agents and scouts in Asia, Africa, Europe and South America looking for a player who fits our requirements,” he said.
“It is crucial that we find a player who can not only contribute on the pitch, but fits in seamlessly with the culture of the Club, and doesn’t upset, but in fact enhances, the balance of the playing group.”
“We have a lot of time on our side, so we won’t be rushing our decision,” Arnold concluded.
Central Coast Mariners 2012/13 Hyundai A-League Squad (at time of writing):
Mathew Ryan, Daniel McBreen, Joshua Rose, Pedj Bojic, Zac Anderson, Patrick Zwaanswijk, John Hutchinson, Adriano Pellegrino, Bernie Ibini, Tomas Rogic, Oliver Bozanic, Troy Hearfield, Michael McGlinchey, Brad McDonald, Trent Sainsbury, Alex Wilkinson, Adam Kwasnik, Mitchell Duke, Anthony Caceres, James Oates, Justin Pasfield