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Ex-Reading midfielder Bozanic signs with Central Coast Mariners

Former Reading midfielder Oliver Bozanic has signed with A-League club Central Coast Mariners.

The 21-year old Sydney-born Bozanic has signed a two-year deal to be the Mariners U23 marquee player in a major coup for the club.

"Oliver embodies many of the values this club believes in, it's a classic case of the local boy done good, but he realises there is still a way to go in his football career, and we are very much looking forward to helping him develop even further," said Mariners Executive Chairman Lyall Gorman.

"On and off the field, Oliver has developed considerably during his time in the UK, and we believe his acquisition will be a huge positive for the Mariners going forward."

Bozanic joined the Royals in 2007 and during his time at the Madejski Stadium, enjoyed loan spells with Woking, Cheltenham Town and Aldershot Town, and during that time he has represented Australia at U20 level.

Mariners head coach Graham Arnold was excited that the club was able to secure a player of Bozanic's quality and promise.

"Oliver is another 'Aussie Abroad' who has been kept under close observation by the FFA's network of scouts, technical director Han Berger and (Socceroos head coach) Pim (Verbeek)," said Arnold.

"I have seen him play personally not only within the National Team environment but also various times in the UK including at a very high level at Reading, and he adapted so easily to the standard required of a Socceroo when he came into the senior team.

"Playing at the level he has been over the last couple of years will be massive for him returning to the A-League, and the fact that he's a local boy makes it an even better fit. This club is determined to get back to the grassroots of the Central Coast, and players like Oliver obviously already have a great connection with that already.

"Most importantly Oliver will provide plenty of spark in attack, he's very good on the ball, has good speed and will be dangerous out wide.

"The squad I had mapped out in my head is beginning to take shape, and over the next few weeks I'm looking forward to it getting closer to completion," added Arnold.

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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