|By GOAL AUSTRALIA
Michael McGlinchey's superb form has been rewarded, with the attacking midfielder handed a new two-year deal by the Central Coast Mariners.
The 26-year-old has ensured the Mariners have hardly missed Tom Rogic after the youngster's sale to Celtic in January, putting in a series of outstanding performances.
The Mariners have now warded off the advances of rival A-League teams - with McGlinchey's previous deal set to expire at the end of the 2012-13 season - by tying the New Zealand international down on a new contract.
Negotiations between club and player had been ongoing for some time, but McGlinchey will now be a Mariner until at least the end of 2014-15 season.
"It has been going on for a while now and I am just happy to have reached an agreement so that I can stay another two years with the Mariners," McGlinchey said via club statement.
"I think there is good stability at the club, and playing under Arnie [Graham Arnold] is a big factor for me. I've played some of my best stuff under him and I think it is beneficial for me to continue developing here.
"I came out in 2009 and I think as the years have gone on I've performed better. This is down to the way I have been coached, and I still have a lot of learning to do. The Mariners feel like the best place for me to keep learning."
Former Celtic midfielder McGlinchey signed for the Mariners in 2009, and has made more than 100 appearances for the club.
He has scored three goals and contributed five assists this season, and said the Mariners' upcoming 2013 AFC Champions League was a key part of his decision to stay with the club.
Arnold, meanwhile, praised the role of McGlinchey at the club.
"Mikey is an important part of our team for a number of reasons," Arnold said. "He can play a number of positions, offers great energy and enthusiasm to the team on the field, and is a great clubman off the pitch.
"His career has flourished in his time here, he's been to a World Cup and the Olympics, and there's the promise of much more for him to come if he continues to work hard on his game.
"I believe Mikey is one of the best attacking players in the A-League and he was a major priority to keep at the club. I am so happy that we beat off the advances of bigger clubs to retain him and the fact Mikey has re-signed speaks volumes about what the player and the Mariners are all about."