|By GOAL AUSTRALIA
Highly rated defender Trent Sainsbury says he will be happy to stay with the Central Coast Mariners should transfer speculation linking him with a move overseas come to nothing.
The 21-year-old's meteoric rise from the fringes of the Mariners' first team to a potential Australia international has alerted several clubs overseas, with the likes of English clubs Southampton and Bolton and Swiss Super League champions Basel linked with the defender.
Sainsbury will trial with the latter after taking part in the Mariners' second-leg match with Guizhou Renhe in the AFC Champions League's Round of 16 on May 22.
Talking to Football Federation Australia's website on the first day of a domestic-based Socceroos camp in the Central Coast, Sainsbury said he had consulted Mariners' team-mate Mile Sterjovski - formerly of Basel - about his coming opportunity to Switzerland.
"I have a trial in Basel after the Guangzhou game in China but my first priority is with the Mariners. I am hopefully going to leave straight from Switzerland and give it my all when I get there," Sainsbury said.
"I spoke to Mile Sterjovski, who spent time there and he gave me lots of good advice, but if I go there I'm going to enjoy the experience and hopefully I like the place. And if nothing comes of it I still have a year on my contract to work on my faults here at the Mariners."
Sainsbury is being billed as a future Socceroo after a breakout A-League season in which he proved crucial to the Mariners' maiden title win.
An overseas move is clearly on his mind, but it is the chance to show his stuff under the gaze of Australia coach Holger Osieck that has Sainsbury keen.
"I think there are younger players that have developed well and are developing well overseas, the likes of [Aaron] Mooy, [Tom] Rogic and James Holland. I think if you're good enough it doesn't matter what age you are, you should be playing," Sainsbury said of the Socceroos.
"I'm here now so I might as well give it my all, sit down with Holger, have a chat and take his advice, treat every minute as a professional because you’re always being watched and judged here.
"I'm just going to try and soak up as much of the atmosphere as I can here, it's a bit different to club level and you have to try not to tread on people's toes because they are used to a different team environment, but hopefully I come away with a smile on my face."