Mariners land big fish McCormack and Oar
THE Central Coast Mariners have made a huge statement of intent, signing Ross McCormack and Tommy Oar to bolster the side's attacking stocks for the coming A-League season.
McCormack joins the Mariners on a season-long loan deal from Aston Villa, while fringe Socceroos winger Oar has penned a two-year contract.
They are two of the biggest recruitment moves the A-League minnow has made in several years, signalling a major change in thinking - and spending - from owner Mike Charlesworth.
McCormack was the competition's equal-third leading scorer last season with 14 goals in just 17 appearances for Melbourne City.
He hasn't played first-team football since the expiry of his injury-replacement stint with City and says he jumped at the chance to return to Australia.
"I'm really excited to get back to Australia," McCormack said.
"The standard of football in Australia is a bit overlooked, I think. Everyone wants to play football the right way and I loved my time with Melbourne."
McCormack said he felt much fitter now than when he first signed with City and would bring his family with him this time around.
Oar, meanwhile, arrives at Gosford after a season with Cypriot giants APOEL.
Capped 28 times for the Socceroos, Oar will be reunited with Mike Mulvey, his former junior coach at the Queensland Academy of Sport.
"He's the kind of coach that will show full belief in me and get the best out of me," Oar said.
Oar, 26, is a natural left winger but can also play as an attacking midfielder.
"I know the Mariners have had a difficult couple of years, but historically the Mariners have experienced a lot of success and I believe that I can help put this team back up where they belong," he said.
McCormack and Oar could become a teammate of former sprinter Usain Bolt, who's on trial with the Mariners.
The Mariners haven't qualified for the A-League finals for the past four seasons, finishing bottom of the ladder in two of those campaigns.