Mariners sign NPL defender Uskok

THE Central Coast Mariners FC have signed 24-year-old former Melbourne Knights FC central defender Tomislav Uskok for the rest of the season.

Uskok was initially going to join NSW NPL outfit Sydney United 58, but impressed Mariners head coach Tony Walmsley enough on trial to earn an A-League contract.

“Tomi trialled during pre-season after I’d watched him captain Melbourne Knights,” Walmsley said. “He impressed us then but we couldn’t bring him into the squad due to numbers.

“When he came in pre-season he impressed us with his character and attributes, he’s six foot five and quite elegant in possession with a good range of passing.

“He will push for a place at centre back as well as a holding midfielder and joins us at a good time for both the club and Tomi.”

Although Sunday’s encounter against the Western Sydney Wanderers will come too soon for Uskok, he will be given opportunities to break into the starting 11 in coming weeks.

Uskok was grateful to join the Mariners and believes there is plenty more potential A-League talent in the NPL.

“I’m very thankful, not many people look at NPL players but Tony’s shown that he’s willing to give people a go from the NPL with guys like Dan [Heffernan]. For a semi-professional environment the standard of play is very good, there’s definitely players in every team that are A-League level,” he said.