Mariners release Perez

The Central Coast Mariners have agreed to release midfielder Patricio Perez from the final year of his contract on compassionate grounds.

The Central Coast Mariners have agreed to release midfielder Patricio Perez from the final year of his contract on compassionate grounds.

Perez, who was one of the standouts for the Mariners this season as they went all the way to the A-League grand final, will return to his native Argentina to be closer to his family.

"I am sad that it has finished this way," Perez said on Wednesday.

"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, thank you 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."

Mariners boss Graham Arnold said he was bitterly disappointed not to have the talent of Perez at his disposal again next season but totally understood his star playmaker's situation.

"South American people are typically very emotional and Patricio and his wife have found it hard being away from their families," Arnold said.

"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."