Central Coast Mariners have confirmed on Wednesday that star duo Roy O’Donovan and Paul Izzo will leave the club to play elsewhere in the Hyundai A-League next season.
The pair were two of the best performers for Paul Okon’s side in the 2016/17 Season but will depart the club once their contracts expire at the end of May.
Izzo played 48 times for the Mariners after arriving from Adelaide United in July 2015 on a two-year-contract.
O’Donovan, who made 48 appearances for Central Coast, also signed in the lead up to the Hyundai A-League 2015/16 Season.
“This wasn’t the situation that I set out to achieve at the start of the season but this is the industry of the professional sport,” O’Donovan said.
“I’ve got a young family and this is an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up.
“I can’t thank everyone involved with the Mariners enough, I do not have a bad word to say about the Central Coast Mariners.
“The people here that I’ve been lucky enough to encounter from the club to the supporters have been nothing short of extraordinary. I’ve loved my time here. It’s a shame we couldn’t have experienced more success but I wish the club every success moving forward and I mean that from the bottom of my heart.”
Izzo added: “It’s very tough for me to leave the Mariners. This season we’ve seen how good things can get at this club and how good they can be so it was a hard decision [to leave].
“Matt Nash [Mariners Goalkeeping Coach] has done so much for me, he never gave up on me and has put so much time and hard work into me.
“I want to say a huge thanks to the Central Coast Mariners who took a big gamble on me, it took time for me to put in a strong season. They were very patient and showed a lot of faith in me.”
Coach Paul Okon wished the duo all the best and confirmed O’Donovan would join the club’s closest rivals Newcastle Jets.
“Roy has been an important player for us this season and although it’s disappointing to see him join our closest rival, it will certainly add fire to the #F3Derby next season,” Okon said.
“The hard work has already commenced and we are confident that with smart recruitment in the coming months the Central Coast Mariners can attract the right players to become a better football club and increase the opportunity to play finals football next season.”