'They'll get through this...'

Socceroo Oliver Bozanic believes his former club the Central Coast Mariners can survive its recent batch of player exits and remain a top A-League contender.

Bozanic spent three years at Central Coast Stadium before departing for Luzern in Switzerland after the Mariners’ 2013 grand final win.

He was joined in Europe by goalkeeper Mat Ryan, who moved to Club Brugge, while more recently Trent Sainsbury, Michael McGlinchey, Daniel McBreen and head coach Graham Arnold have also left the club.

But Bozanic is confident the Mariners can adequately replace all these depatures and have the right man in charge in Phil Moss.

“What Mossy has shown this season has been fantastic,” he said. “There’s been a lot of changes and it’s shown great character from him and all the players that are there to put themselves in a good position still. I think he’s signed some new players recently that will strengthen the team.

“He was very good, I always had a good relationship with Mossy. I didn’t get the opportunity to see him as a first-team manager so I’m not sure if it’s the same or it’s changed, but when I was there and he was the assistant it was great.”

The Mariners sit in third place on the A-League table, three points behind second-placed Western Sydney and 10 behind league leaders Brisbane Roar. The club has forgd an impressive talent pipeline in recent seasons with the development of senior and junior Australian internationals such Tom Rogic, Musti Amini, Ryan, Sainsbury and Bernie Ibini-Isei.

Bozanic said the Mariners have always encouraged their players to push themselves as far as possible.

“Especially when Arnie was there, he always wanted the players to go on to bigger and better things in their careers,” he said. 

“The Mariners have definitely got that, they want their players to go on and be successful wherever they go. It’s great that a club can help players do that.”

The Mariners take on Melbourne Victory at Central Coast Stadium this Saturday before travelling to Coopers Stadium next weekend to face Adelaide United. The club has just signed a host of new players in Glen Trifiro, Isaka Cernak, Matt Sim, Eddy Bosnar and Korean import Kim Seung-Yong.

Bozanic is hoping the influx of talent will help Central Coast cement a top two finish.

He added: “It’s tight at the moment but I hope they can finish the season strong as they have been the last few weeks and go all they way and get to the playoffs and go through to the finals.”

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