Central Coast Mariners have re-signed highly-rated young defenders Trent Sainsbury and Zac Anderson despite the duo attracting interest from overseas and rival A-League clubs.
The two centre-backs were in the final year of their deals with the A-League champions who moved quick to ensure that they wouldn't leave the club for free at the end of the season by handing them both contract extensions.
Sainsbury will remain at Bluetongue Stadium until the end of the 2015/16 season while Anderson signed on for an additional one year, until the end of the 2014/15 campaign.
“Trent and Zac have become very important players for us,” Mariners coach Phil Moss said. “We're delighted they have committed to the club, because they are two players who show great leadership and understand what it takes to achieve at the Hyundai A-League level, and in the AFC Champions League. They are physically strong players with great attitudes, and fit our culture perfectly.”
The retention of Sainsbury is a significant coup for the Mariners as he has already attracted interest from Swiss giants FC Basel, whom were close to signing him after a training stint during the off-season. The 21 year-old enjoyed a meteoric rise in the Mariners senior team since his transition from right-back to a more central role and has since been heavily linked with selection for the Socceroos squad. He admitted that he his goal is to play in Europe, but is happy to remain in Gosford until the right offer arrives.
“I have a burning desire to go overseas,” Sainsbury said. “But I don't want to go over there with nothing behind me - I want to arrive at a club and be very well respected for what I have achieved in Australia.”
Anderson, 22, has become a regular first team player since arriving from Gold Coast United and was delighted to extend his stay at the club.
“I am over the moon to have signed an extension with the club,” Anderson said. “I've come down here [from Queensland] and I have really enjoyed my time. I love playing for the Mariners.”