Central Coast Mariners' biggest signing off the off-season is a little-known 26-year-old Scottish fullback from Hamilton Academical. But there's a little more to the aptly named Ziggy Gordon than meets the eye.

The Mariners have implemented a paradigm shift from the publicity-hacking days of Usain Bolt, to go for a much quieter, much more disciplined transfer strategy.

Or at least they're after someone who's a little more loyal to the cause.

"I started my career at Hamilton when I was 10 years old," Gordon explained. "I was anxious to keep working hard and every year I progressed through the new system.

"Then I spent about five years getting promotion to the top flight and had some memorable games beating and captaining my club against Celtic at Celtic Park. Y

"You know, back then names like Virgil (van Dijk), fantastic names were playing. So it's been a great honour. And then I thought it was the time after about 160 games to try overseas and I went to Poland had a great experience there.

"Top league, top players, difficult sometimes when when you're abroad and you're a foreign player there can be different rules."

With the Mariners desperately in need of leaders to fill the gap left by a mass exodus of talent throughout last season, 26-year-old Gordon comes into the A-League with a big weight on his shoulders.

First on coach Alen Stajcic's agenda will be bolstering the side's leaky defence, with the Mariners' backline - many of which have already left the club - broadly criticised for their lack of depth and experience last season.

It's a role Gordon's keen to fill, although he noted that expectations must be controlled at first.

"I think I've got the right attitude towards you know, being a leader," Gordon said. "I think every player should be a leader. And I think captain's just a word.

"I've spoken to the gaffer at great depth. And I've asked him, you know, to his face, what's his expectations of me, and what's his expectations of the team.

"And I think the expectation is for everyone to bond and everyone to give 100%.

"Once that's achieved, then we can look into the bigger picture. So I'm here to do my best. I'm here to help the gaffer to help the finds to help the players and tell myself to have a successful season as we possibly can.

"Whatever the gaffer needs of me, I'll be there."

He was quick to praise the standard of the A-League, but equally aware of the situation the Mariners find themselves in. But he's used to Scottish Premier League strugglers and he's ready for a fight.

"I know it's a competitive league," he said. "I know those fine margins between all the teams and I know as you know the club hasn't done that well, particularly in the last couple of years.

"But that can be very quickly changed in the matter of a few players and a few different philosophies and a new coach coming in."