Central Coast Mariners can tonight confirm an agreement has been reached for attacking midfielder Michael McGlinchey to leave the Club on loan to Japan’s Vegalta Sendai for the majority of 2014.
With the nimble New Zealander’s one-season loan move to Graham Arnold’s Sendai now finalised, the Mariners can also confirm 2013 Hyundai A-League Championship winner Bernie Ibini will re-join the Club on loan from Chinese Super League outfit Shanghai SIPG until May 31, 2014.
Under the terms of the arrangement, McGlinchey will be eligible to play for the Mariners until Hyundai A-League 2013/14 round 13 when Central Coast welcomes Melbourne Heart to Gosford’s Bluetongue Stadium.
Ibini will be eligible to play for the Club from Hyundai A-League 2013/14 round 14 when the Mariners travel south over the Tasman Sea to take on Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium.
Central Coast Mariners Head Coach Phil Moss said that the Club is satisfied with the outcome of the arrangement which allows McGlinchey to experience Asia’s top league, and Ibini to re-join the Mariners family.
“Of course it is not ideal for us to lose a player of Michael McGlinchey’s quality mid-way through the season, but when an opportunity to move to a league such as the J.League presents itself, players naturally want to head abroad and test themselves,” Moss said.
“Mikey is headed to Vegalta under Arnie (Graham Arnold) for a season and will return as a Central Coast Mariners player when the 2014 J.League season concludes.”
“Throughout our negotiations with Mikey and Bernie’s representatives, as well as Vegalta and Shanghai, we were clear that we were not willing to let Mikey go on loan unless we were guaranteed to get a high-quality player back in return.”
“Everyone that has watched the Hyundai A-League over the past few seasons knows exactly what Bernie Ibini is capable of, and we know he will be an important member of our squad for the remainder of the domestic season as well as our 2014 AFC Champions League Group Stage campaign. We’re delighted to welcome Bernie back to the Club.”
“Michael McGlinchey is yet another success story of the Central Coast Mariners, having made great strides as a player since joining the us from Glasgow Celtic in 2009. We hope large numbers of fans will flock to Bluetongue Stadium on New Year’s Eve and January 5 to wish him well throughout his loan spell in Japan,” Moss concluded.