Mariner chooses Australia over England

Wednesday, 19 September 2012 7:37 PM

Mariner chooses Australia over England

Central Coast Mariners signing Nick Montgomery says he rejected offers from Championship clubs to come to the Hyundai A-League.

The midfielder, 30, arrived at the Mariners on Wednesday having signed a three-year deal after over 400 competitive appearances for Sheffield United.

Montgomery met his new teammates in Tuggerah after the long flight with his wife Josie and twin daughters Chloe and Leah.

Leeds-born Montgomery said he had offers from the second tier in England, but chose to join the Mariners.

"It was quite a long trip with 17-month-old twins but apart from that I'm delighted to be here and looking forward to it. It was nice to get a nice welcome from the boys," Montgomery said.

"I'd always thought about a change and after being at one club for so long when the opportunity came up I spoke to the manager and the chairman at the Central Coast, and after I spoke to them there was only one place I wanted to come and that was here.

"I did have other offers in the Championship in England but ... when the opportunity came up I spoke to my wife and we decided to go with it."

With pressure to reduce the wage bill at Sheffield, Montgomery was allowed to leave with several others.

He farewelled the Bramall Lane faithful before Sheffield's League One match against Bury on Saturday.

Central Coast coach Graham Arnold welcomed Montgomery's experience after losing captain Alex Wilkinson to K-League side Jeonbuk Motors in the off-season.

"We've lost some experience out of the squad, especially out of the middle of the team with Alex Wilkinson in the off-season," Arnold said.

"We looked around for quite a while. Nick brings a lot of experience but also he's a fabulous person.

"For a player to stay at one club for his whole career shows you what type of person he is. He pretty much ticks every box that we needed ticked off."

Montgomery could line up for the Mariners in their pre-season friendly against the Brisbane Roar on Sunday.

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