Mariners snatch Bosnar from Sydney

Central Coast Mariners have bolstered their defensive stocks for the remainder of the A-League season and 2014 AFC Champions League campaign, with experienced Australian defender Eddy Bosnar officially inking a deal with the club through to the end of May.

Up until Friday morning Bosnar was all set to sign with Sydney FC.

The veteran defender put in two-weeks training with the Sky Blues but head coach Frank Farina made it clear he wouldn’t be rushed into any deal. Now he won’t have to worry with the 33-year-old headed to Gosford.

After Trent Sainsbury transferred to PEC Zwolle of the Dutch Eredivisie, Mariners boss Phil Moss moved swiftly to steal his former Northern Spirit teammate from the harbour-siders.

“I have known Eddy for a long time and understand his quality,” Moss said. “He’s a supremely strong defender with tonnes of experience in Europe and Asia, and will add great steel and know-how to our squad.”

“He’s a winner, he’s extremely mentally strong, and he’s a great guy to boot. He’ll fit in to the Mariners culture seamlessly and add a great deal to us both on and off the field.

“It now gives us four stoppers for two positions with Zac (Anderson), Marcel (Seip), Brent (Griffiths) and Eddy (Bosnar) fighting it out. With a logjam of games in the Hyundai A-League and AFC Champions League that depth will be crucial.”

Bosnar will be  a familiar face for Mariners' fans having played twice against the Gosford outfit in last year’s AFC Champions League while plying his trade with K-League Classic giants Suwon Bluewings.

After spending time in Croatia, Austria, England and the Netherlands between 2000 and 2008, Bosnar swapped Europe for Asia.

His time in the J.League made him a household name for football fans in the land of the rising sun, before he established himself in Korea Republic with Suwon.

Last year he spent six months in the Chinese Super League with Guangzhou R&F alongside former Mariner Rostyn Griffiths and is now set for his first stint in the A-League.

“I am excited to be back in Australia and I am looking forward to the challenge ahead,” Bosnar said before training with his new teammates in Tuggerah on Saturday.

“I was training with Sydney FC, and like we always said it was just training at the beginning, and then some sort of interest did happen from both parties. But I have decided to take up the offer from Central Coast and I think I have made the right choice.

“Playing in the AFC Champions League was a massive drawcard, and I’ve also known Mossy (Phil Moss) for years. I’ve heard of the atmosphere here at the club and I think it is the right place for myself.”

Central Coast Mariners Chief Executive Officer, Bruce Stalder, said Bosnar was a welcome addition to the Mariners family.

“Australian football fans have long known of Eddy Bosnar, so we’re naturally delighted to be the club that provides Eddy the stage to show his immense talent to fans of the A-League,” Stalder said.

Bosnar will be eligible for selection for the Mariners when the club hosts Melbourne Victory in round 18 at Central Coast Stadium on Saturday 8 February.