Vanstrattan happy to be home

Former Juventus goalkeeper Jess Vanstrattan is delighted to be heading home to Gosford to sign for the Central Coast Mariners and link up again with coach Graham Arnold.

Former Juventus goalkeeper Jess Vanstrattan is delighted to be heading home to Gosford to sign for the Central Coast Mariners and link up again with coach Graham Arnold.

Vanstrattan parted company with Gold Coast United by mutual agreement which enabled the shot-stopper to pen terms with the Mariners until the end of the 2010-11 A-League season.

The signing of the 191cm-tall gloveman should pave the way for the departure of Young Socceroos keeper Danny Vukovic, who after making 104 appearances for the Mariners over five years, is said to be only days away from tying up a deal with Turkish Super Lig side Konyaspor.

"I'm looking forward to it," said Vanstrattan when quizzed about the move.

"I suppose it was a bit of a no brainer when this deal came up as a possibility. I felt from Arnie's end and my end that there was always a commitment to try to make it happen if it was possible, and it has ended up coming to fruition so I'm pretty happy with that."

Arnold first signed Vanstrattan at the Northern Spirit in the now defunct National Soccer League in 1999 and the chance to link up with old friends and return home was too good to turn down for the keeper.

"I've worked with a lot of people at the club and some of the players. He (Graham Arnold) was my first professional coach," he said.

"I've also worked with (goalkeeping coach) John Crawley when I was younger, I know (head of sports science) Andrew Clark, so I know everyone down there and I know I'm coming to an environment that is going to be good to me, so it's just up to me to do what I know I can do best."

The Mariners have wasted no time and Vanstrattan is expected to start training on Tuesday to enable him to take part in their friendly against the Melbourne Victory in Launceston on Sunday.

"I really hope Jess will be a great addition to the squad. He's a real leader on the field, he does a lot of talking and coaches while he plays which is what you need in a goalkeeper," said Arnold.

"He has plenty of experience at the top level and is a local junior who has gone away and been successful, and is now returning to his roots. He's a great kid, I've known him for over 10 years now and I'm excited that we are able to bring home."

Despite having back-up keepers Scott Higgins and impressive youngster Jerrad Tyson waiting in the wings, Vanstrattan's departure from Skilled Park means Gold Coast coach Miron Bleiberg has a new keeper on the top of his priority list.

"Obviously securing a new goalkeeper is paramount and we will be looking to make signing as soon as possible, as long as the player is right for us," he said.

Higgins is expected to start in goal on Sunday when Gold Coast face North Queensland Fury in a pre-season friendly at Carrara Stadium.