Central Coast Mariners have today agreed to release playmaker Patricio Perez from the final year of his contract on compassionate grounds, allowing him to return to his home country of Argentina with his family.
"I am sad that it has finished this way," said Perez, through interpreter and Mariners goalkeeping coach John Crawley.
"The players and the club have been fantastic to me and my wife and I love the Central Coast, but it is hard for us to be away from our families. I want to thank the club and Graham Arnold for the way we have been treated during our time here, and I will be watching Mariners results very closely in the future.
"To the Mariners fans, thankyou for your support, it has been a pleasure to play at Bluetongue Stadium, the fans are fantastic and I will miss everyone on the Central Coast, but it is time now for me and my wife to return to Argentina," said Perez.
Despite battling back and hamstring problems for much of his time on the Central Coast, Perez still managed six goals in his 18 appearances for the club, and lit up the Hyundai A-League on several occasions with his exciting ball skills through the middle of the park.
The Argentine Under 20's World Cup winner will return home with his wife immediately, and the club thanks him for his contribution to the Yellow and Navy, and wishes him all the best for the future.
"I'm obviously very disappointed, we were looking forward to having Patricio around for two seasons because he's been fantastic for us, but it is hard for some players to settle in a foreign place, particularly when there are language barriers and homesickness involved," said Mariners Head Coach Graham Arnold.
"South American people are typically very emotional and Patricio and his wife have found it hard being away from their families. Compassionately we had to do the right thing and allow Patricio and his wife to be with them, and we have no complaints with that.
"He has certainly made a mark on the A-League and I'm sure people would agree he is a tremendous talent, but when a player isn't comfortable we have to do what is in the best interests of both the player and the rest of the squad and the club, which we have done.
"He's a great kid, and I hope he does well in the future."