Central Coast have signed former Sydney FC, Perth Glory, Adelaide United and Western Sydney Wanderers defender Antony Golec ahead of the 2017/18 A-League season.
The 27-year-old defender returns to Australia after plying his trade abroad with FC Sheriff Tiraspol (Moldovan National Division), Persepolis FC (Persian Gulf Pro League) & most recently Bucheon FC 1995 (K League Challenge).
The Australian youth international has signed a one-year-deal and will be known to Australian football fans for his 59 combined appearances in the A-League with a variety of clubs.
Golec made his A-League debut with Sydney FC against Melbourne Victory in 2008 and was part of the Wanderers’ 2014 AFC Champions League title and the club’s fifth-placed finish in the 2014 FIFA Club World Cup campaign.
Mariners coach Paul Okon worked with Golec in the Olyroos set-up and said that he has what it takes to lead the younger defenders.
Okon welcomed Golec’s defensive attributes and assessed him first hand after bringing Golec into the squad for training during May.
“Antony is a left-sided stopper which I’ve always had in my teams,” Okon said.
“Having a left-sided defender when you’re in possession gives you the advantage of being able to reverse pass which is sometimes difficult for a right-sided stopper playing on the left.
“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 as a footballer.
“He’s at a good age where he’s accumulated a bit of experience in his travels, he’s won an ACL with the Wanderers but he’s still at an age where we think he will be able to learn.
“Golec surprised us actually, physically he really stood up when we trained quite hard. He hadn’t played for quite some time and we wanted to see how he would fit into our environment, into our training methods and we felt that he excelled.
“He was good in the group, he has a great attitude so from that perspective it was an easy decision once we had seen him here.”
Golec is looking forward to doing battle in the A-League after plying his trade in Europe and Asia.
“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 has been a nightmare to be honest so it is good to be back in the A-League. There’s no room for passengers in the A-League so you need to make sure you’re up to it, working hard and playing good football so I am looking forward to the challenge.
“I worked with Paul Okon during the London Olympic qualifiers with the Olyroos. I’ve enjoyed training here over the last few weeks, you can see he really has passion for the club and he really wants the club to achieve something next year. I think he did a very good job last season to get where they did.”