Former Perth Glory starlet Daniel De Silva returns to Australia after spell in Holland
Daniel De Silva has signed a three-year deal with Central Coast Mariners.
The 20-year-old attacking midfielder has spent the past two years playing in the Ducth Eredivisie with Roda JC.
De Silva made headlines in the A-League at the age of just 15 when he made his debut for Perth Glory. But in 2014 it was announced that he would join Italian giants AS Roma for a fee reported to be around $2.5m.
The deal never properly materialised, though, and the precise details remain shrouded in mystery. The situation was further muddied when De Silva then moved to Roda, with conflicting reports about whether it was a loan or a permanent deal - and if Roma were also invloved - before his contract with the Dutch club was ended in January 2017.
De Silva has played for Australia at Under-17, Under-20 and Under-23 levels and was called up for the Socceroos squad by Ange Postecoglou in 2015. He now links up again with Mariners boss Paul Okon who was his coach at junior international level.
“I want to play as many games this season and give my very best to the club. Every game, every training session. I want to play a part in getting this team into the finals and going as close to winning the league as possible, if not win the league,” De Silva said.
“As soon as I arrived I was very warmly welcomed. All the players are great; the staff are great and I have a very good feeling about this club already.
“Paolo gave me so many opportunities as a young player – he took me to the U-20 World Cup. I love the brand of football he plays and instills into the players so that was a big factor for me deciding to come to this club. I’ve worked with him previously and really enjoyed it so I am looking forward to working with him full time this season."
Okon said: “It's been a long time in the making but it’s certainly worth the wait. I have worked with Daniel and he is one of the most exciting and talented young Australian players.
"Our intent has always been to strengthen the squad and Daniel will no doubt give us that quality in the final third that we need."