Wilkinson re-signs with 'special' Mariners

Central Coast captain Alex Wilkinson claims the club's 'special' culture led him to re-sign with the Mariners for a further two seasons.

Central Coast captain Alex Wilkinson claims the club's 'special' culture led him to re-sign with the Mariners for a further two seasons.

The 24-year-old has been one of the cornerstones of the Mariners' defence in their three Hyundai A-League seasons and is one of just 10 foundation players still wearing the yellow and blue.

Having led the club to the 2007/08 premiership, Wilkinson turned down numerous offers from rival A-League clubs to remain at Central Coast.

"I'm personally delighted to have extended my stay at the Mariners for another two Hyundai A-League seasons, which with the addition of an AFC Champions League campaign represents a very exciting challenge for our club and its players," he said on Friday.

"The atmosphere and culture here at the Mariners is something very special and one that appeals to any player in the country and with this in mind, it was always my absolute preference to remain on the Central Coast and further contribute to what has been an already unforgettable journey."

"On and off the field, the Mariners are going places and it's very exciting and re-assuring to know that I'll be a part of this for the long term."

Wilkinson has missed just nine of the club's 101 competitive matches and has starred in two A-League Grand Finals, two Pre-Season Cup finals and the Club World Championship qualifying series playoff in 2005.

He joins fellow long-term signings Pedj Bojic, Nigel Boogaard, Adrian Caceres, Ahmad Elrich, Dean Heffernan, John Hutchinson, Mile Jedinak, Dylan Macallister, Bradley Porter, Matt Simon and Danny Vukovic for the Mariners' maiden AFC Champions League campaign.

More immediately, however, Wilkinson will pull on the captain's armband for the 39th time when the team takes on Sydney FC in a blockbuster clash at the Sydney Football Stadium on Saturday night.