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Golec returns to A-League with Mariners

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 30/05/2017 Emma Kemp

Central Coast have continued to bolster their defence after the club added Asian Champions League winner Antony Golec to a backline also boasting A-League grand finalist Alan Baro.

The well-travelled Golec, who was part of Western Sydney's historic ACL triumph, returns to Australia on a one-year deal after a year of cut-short overseas stints with clubs in Moldova, Persia and Korea.

In much the same fashion, the Mariners will be his fifth A-League side, having previously made 59 combined appearances for Sydney FC, Adelaide, the Wanderers and Perth.

The 27-year-old centre-back, who stands at 1.94m and can also play left-back, hasn't played much football of late.

But after watching him excel while training with the Gosford squad in May, coach Paul Okon viewed his former Olyroos student as a key piece of the puzzle heading into his second year at the helm of a youthful side showing potential.

"Antony is a left-sided stopper which I've always had in my teams," Okon said.

"He gives us a lot more height at the back. He's a big, strong defender who is quite aggressive and we're hopeful that within our playing style and the way we train that Antony will improve.

"He's at a good age where he's accumulated a bit of experience in his travels and won an ACL, but he's still at an age where we think he will be able to learn."

Golec left the Glory in the 2016 January transfer window bound for Moldovan National Division outfit Sheriff Tiraspol, whom he helped win the championship and qualify for Champions League play-offs.

The next eight months weren't so positive as the first five, as two-year deals with Persian Gulf Pro League side Persepolis and then Korean second-tier club Bucheon FC 1995 ended prematurely.

"The last year and a half overseas has had its ups and downs," Golec said.

"I was in Europe and won the league in Moldova, then the last eight months have been a nightmare to be honest, so it's good to be back in the A-League.

"There's no room for passengers here so you need to make sure you're up to it, working hard and playing good football."

Golec's signing follows that of experienced Spaniard Baro, who was a central defensive standout for Melbourne Victory in their grand-final run.

Baro is the second foreign off-season signing after Okon also landed Dutch midfielder Tom Hiariej following a European scouting trip.

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