Central Coast Mariners midfielder Mile Jedinak has joined Turkish Süper Lig challengers Genclerbirligi for a mooted AUS$800,000.
Genclerbirligi are one of Turkey’s most progressive clubs and is currently home to Jedinak’s Qantas Socceroos team-mates Bruce Djite and James Troisi, and is also the former club of Australian internationals Nick Carle and Josip Skoko.
Jedinak will complete the calendar year in Mariners colours and will have a final opportunity to farewell Mariners Members and supporters at Bluetongue Stadium when the yellow and navy host the Perth Glory on New Year’s Eve.
"While of course disappointed to be losing such an outstanding talent, we are equally delighted to see Mile provided with an opportunity to further his professional ambitions at a very high level," said Mariners Executive Chairman Lyall Gorman.
"This is the best example yet of a player coming to the Mariners, taking his opportunity in the Hyundai A-League, using his domestic form to put his name forward for Qantas Socceroos selection and thus, providing a platform to advance his career to the next level.
"As we have always maintained at the Mariners, we will never stand in the way of the professional ambitions of any player and, indeed, will do all that we can to encourage and facilitate one’s professional development.
"During his time at the Mariners, Mile has been simply integral to all of our successes and although he will be sorely missed, we wish him all the very best with this next chapter of his life and his career."
Jedinak is set to make his 50th competitive appearance for the Mariners at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Boxing Day – a fitting milestone for a player that has been among the best to ever pull on a yellow and navy shirt.
EnergyAustralia Stadium was the venue for Jedinak’s Hyundai A-League debut towards the end of the Hyundai A-League 2006/07 season and since that day, Jedinak has been a permanent fixture in the Mariners line up whenever fit and available for selection.
Capped three times by his country at senior level and voted by his peers as the Mariners’ best throughout the club’s Premiership winning third season, Jedinak has saved his best for last at Bluetongue Stadium – slamming six goals from 13 starts in season four, most of which being long-range specials or stunning free kicks.
"I’m firstly thrilled to have secured a move to Genclerbirligi SK, a club where I’m certain that I can continue my professional development and improve myself as a player," said Jedinak, who has agreed a two-and-a-half year contract with Gencler.
"My time at the Mariners has been unforgettable and it was here that I was first introduced to the Hyundai A-League and, from there, the Qantas Socceroos and for that I am forever thankful to the coaching staff, playing group and Members and supporters at the club.
"I hope to put in two big performances for the club before I depart and truly believe that the playing group that we have at the Mariners at present is capable of challenging for honours this season.
"It has been a pleasure to have been a part of the Mariners set up for nearly three seasons now and to have been amongst the first class characters within our playing group and wherever my career may take me in the future, I was always look back on my time on the Central Coast with a lot of happiness and pride."