Central Coast Mariners recruit Fabio Ferreira insists his move to Gosford is no holiday and he is prepared to do whatever it takes to bring the club silverware.
Following three successful seasons at Adelaide United, the winger recently signed a two-and-a-half-year contract at the Mariners in a deal set to keep him at the club until at least June 2017.
With 12 matches remaining in the regular season, the Gosford-based club find themselves in eighth place on 12 points, seven adrift of the sixth-placed Melbourne City.
Speaking exclusively to FourFourTwo, 25-year-old Ferreira said hopes his arrival will see the Mariners make the finals for the fifth consecutive year.
"My aim right now is to help Central Coast Mariners into the top six by the end of the season, and I believe I am the man for the job, that I can provide for that," he told FFT.
"My strength is definitely my power and speed, I’m very big and I try to use that as much as I can to get past players, it’s my number one quality. My technique is also a strength and they will help me excel.
“I will continue to work hard to be fit, and to not get injured for the rest of the season so that I will be ready to fire for the Mariners. To be injury-free means I will be fit and at my best, so I hope that is the case."
When asked about how he was acclimatising to the new conditions, Ferreira said: “So far, it’s very positive here in the Central Coast, nice place and very relaxing.
“The team and club are very friendly and supportive. Obviously you need to become comfortable with the team and players, but so far, I’ve gotten some positive vibes.
“I started training this week, and last week I was trying to get in shape and get used to the conditions here."
Ferreira, a former Sporting Lisbon and Chelsea youth player, first arrived in Australia in 2012, playing for Sydney side Dulwich Hill before enjoying three seasons at Adelaide United.
He averaged a goal every five games to become one of United's figureheads in attack.
“I would like to thank Adelaide for giving me the opportunity to show me what I can do and to allow me to believe in myself, which is very important, and for that I am grateful,” Ferreira said.
“Adelaide was a great experience for me as a player and I had a great time there.
“In the beginning, when I joined Adelaide, I didn’t know the standard of the league, and I took my time to get into it.
“But, I think I set up myself well. The first year at Adelaide United was good, the second year was even better for me.
"Unfortunately this year I haven’t been at my best so hopefully, in the second half of the season, I can show what I can do, the player I am and hopefully go from there."
Asked about the differences between Josep Gombau and Phil Moss’ coaching methods, the Portuguese attacker had nothing but praise for both.
“Gombau knows what he is doing, he planted a good style of play. Everyone seemed to like him and obviously he brought to Australia some good football," Ferreira said.
“Gombau and Moss is different. Gombau is more European in style, Moss is Australian. Both are great coaches though. Phil is a good man and obviously I am excited to be helping him and the club."
Speaking of Adelaide United, the Mariners prepare to take on Gombau’s troops, who are currently in second place, at home on Saturday afternoon.
Ferreira, however, will have to wait before making his debut for the Mariners due to a gentleman’s agreement that forbids him from playing against his former club for now.
Nevertheless, Ferreira has been overwhelmed by the support and affection the fans from Adelaide have shown him since his departure and he hopes those at the Mariners will do the same.
“It’s a shame I can’t play against Adelaide United. I’m here to play, not just here to train and watching the others play, not just to show my previous club what I am like now, but to play normally and help the team. But there’s a gentleman’s agreement which means I can’t,” he said.
“A lot of fans from Adelaide United have been messaging me on Instagram and Facebook supporting me even though I’m not in Adelaide anymore. They’re still supporting me, wishing me good luck and that is very good because I thought everybody would be smashing me for leaving but there are still people that like me for the work that I have done and I appreciate that.“
However, Ferreira insisted he would celebrate a goal if he were to play in the fixture.
“I would celebrate the goal at Central Coast Mariners but not at Adelaide United out of respect for the fans," he said.
The former Chelsea man’s contract ends mid-2017, and Ferreira has not ruled out a move away from the A-League entirely.
But he insists that his mind is only focused on the job at hand.
“Obviously, I have aim of going back to a big European club in mind. But for the next two-and-a-half years, I have a contract with the Mariners," Ferreira said.
“My head is here and I will do my best. If something comes up in Europe later on of somewhere else that I know will be good for me as a professional, then I will take that into consideration.”comments