Stars align as key Mariners signings make Hyundai A-League plans a reality
Ross McCormack never lost the hunger for a second Hyundai A-League stint that now has him poised to form an exciting partnership at Central Coast Mariners.
The 13-time Scotland international signed on a season-long loan deal from Aston Villa the same day Tommy Oar sealed a switch from APOEL.
Central Coast hope the pair will fire them back up the ladder with McCormack, scorer of 14 goals in 17 games last season, jumping at the opportunity to bring his talents back to Australia.
"It was always in my head because I enjoyed my time at Melbourne City that much," the striker said.
"When it came around I spoke to the manager and the owner, and Nick Montgomery as well who I know from England.
"It seemed the right club at the right time and I'm happy to be here.
"In terms of the club, I've been impressed by the standard of training, the intensity of training, the standard of the players as well.
"The are some right good players here, some good young kids.
"It's been just over a week now with the boys. It's been thoroughly enjoyable – the lads have been great.
"It's been easy for obviously myself and Tommy, coming in at the same time, to settle in. All in all it shapes up to be a good season."
Oar, 26, was also on the hunt for a Hyundai A-League home after cutting short a spell in Cyprus that brought with it a league title.
Ongoing dialogue with Mike Mulvey opened the door to a Mariners side seeking reliable service for McCormack and the ex-Brisbane Roar winger was quick to reunite with his former Queensland Academy of Sport mentor.
"It's really good to be back working with Mike. I'm really happy the way it's worked out," Oar said.
"In the past few years I've been in contact with him and tried to see if there was an opportunity to work with him.
"Obviously now he's back here in Australia with the Mariners, and me leaving Cyprus, the stars kind of aligned.
"I'm really enjoying working under him and working hard for the season."
The additions of McCormack and Oar, along with the buzz generated by Usain Bolt's presence, has stirred hope of a Mariners resurgence that is being felt throughout the region.
"I think there's a really positive feeling around the whole club and the whole community at the moment," Oar added.
"We're just trying to keep that going. Bringing people like Ross and signings of that calibre to the club really lifts the mood at training."