Mariners sign loan deal with Hungarian ace
Vernes, 22, played his youth football at one of the country’s elite clubs, Ferencvaros, before joining cross-town rivals Honved in 2007.
He scored six goals during the club’s 2013-14 campaign, including one in the Europa League.
The decision to snap up the former youth international could mean the Mariners are resigned to losing All White Michael McGlinchey to Wellington Phoenix before the start of the season.
The Kiwi international has been at the centre of a protracted tug of war between the two A-League clubs and has yet to play a pre-season game.
Mariners boss Phil Moss said he believes the versatile Vernes is the perfect addition to the squad.
“We are extremely delighted to have captured a player of Richard’s quality and bring him to Australia at this stage of his career, where he is extremely hungry to take his game to another level,” Moss told the club’s official website.
“In all my dealings with Richard – his work ethic, professionalism and team before an individual mentality has shone through and I believe he can help take the team to another level.
“The A-League was his number one preference and he has done a lot of research on the Mariners on and off the field, and his first comment to me was that it is the culture that sits most comfortably with him.”
The Mariners recently signed Senegalese forward Malick Mane, 25, on loan from Swedish club IFK Goteborg and the arrival of Vernes should take the competition for places in the front third up another notch.
“He’s under no illusion, as with Malick, that everyone will have to fight hard to play and no one is secured a spot. I believe that his signing along with Malick has really given us some fierce competition for spots in the top third of the field.”
Moss added: “We were very specific about the two foreigners we bought to the club, we were looking for players at the right stage of their career. They are players that really want to come here and develop as footballers,” he said.
"I want players who will excite our fans and have the ability to create and or score goals every time we go forward.
“We play to structures that allow for individual flair and creativity in attack, and these players will add in that department what we already have in the squad.
“I'm excited and pleased with how the squad is shaping up. Everyone is training the house down, and it’s great we are now entering the next phase of our pre-season.”