Bulli junior Jordan Murray and Wollongong Wolves attacker Josh MacDonald have been rewarded for standout seasons in the NSW National Premier League after penning deals with Central Coast Mariners for next season.
The talented duo have both signed one-year contracts with the A-League club.
It is Murray’s first professional deal while MacDonald earns a second chance in the A-League after previously suiting up with the Western Sydney Wanderers.
Murray has enjoyed a record-breaking season at APIA Leichhardt, scoring an astonishing 23 goals in just 19 games to catapult the Tigers into NPL title contention.
The former Illawarra Premier League striker was ecstatic to make the switch to the A-League.
“This is a moment that I will cherish for the rest of my life,” Murray said.
“To play at a professional level is something that I’ve dreamt of since I was a kid – it’s a dream come true.
“I’ve spoken to players who have played with the Mariners and they have said nothing but positive things about the club so I’m really looking forward to playing for the Mariners.
“The hard work for me starts now.
“My goal is to give my all to the club, my all to my teammates and my all to the coaching staff. I have watched these guys play on TV for so long, so to now be able to learn from them and train alongside them is a huge opportunity to develop my game.”
A Unanderra Hearts junior, MacDonald returns to the A-League after playing for the Wanderers in 2015.
He made the switch back to the Wolves in 2016 and has been one of the top performers at the club for the past three seasons.
He hasn’t featured on the Wolves’ team sheet since their loss to Bonnyrigg White Eagles on July 7 after being awarded a trial on the Coast, which resulted in a deal at the club.
“I feel really grateful to the Central Coast Mariners for giving me this opportunity,” Macdonald said.
“Since I’ve come in for the trial and had the chance to speak with [Mariners coach Mike Mulvey] and the coaching staff it’s clear that the direction of the club is amazing – I really want to be a part of it.
“There’s a lot of talent in the NPL and I think it’s fantastic that Mike Mulvey has provided an opportunity for players from the NPL to come in and trial.
“I was lucky enough to have impressed the coaching staff, so now I have my chance I am going to take it with both hands.”
Murray and MacDonald, both 22, join Port Kembla product Corey Gameiro on the Central Coast.