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Veteran Dutchman Patrick Zwaanswijk has called time on his playing career, but will remain with the Central Coast Mariners in a coaching capacity Indonesia   By GOAL AUSTRALIA

Central Coast Mariners grand final hero Patrick Zwaanswijk has announced his retirement from professional football and is set to be appointed an assistant coach with the Mariners.

The 38-year-old defender will end his playing career after the AFC Champions League Round of 16 tie against Marcello Lippi's Chinese heavyweights Guangzhou Evergrande.

Dutchman Zwaanswijk will coach Central Coast's National Youth League team next season and work closely with the club's academy program.

Zwaanswijk said he knew the time had come to retire, and was delighted to remain with the Mariners.

"At a certain point there's a transition in life," Zwaanswijk said.

"This is a great opportunity for me, so that made it a little bit easier for me to finish my career.

"For me, it's important to give back to football and to give back to, at this particular time, the Central Coast Mariners."

Zwaanswijk was one of the heroes in the Mariners' 2013 A-League success, scoring the opener in the grand final and marshalling a water-tight defence all season.

Zwaanswijk counts his side's A-League triumph this season and winning the Dutch League twice and playing in the UEFA Champions League for FC Utrecht as career highlights.

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