Central Coast Mariners will be without striker Daniel McBreen for the opening three rounds of the 2013-14 A-League season after the veteran clinched a loan move to Shanghai SIPG.
The reigning A-League Golden Boot winner has followed Bernie Ibini in leaving Gosford for Shanghai SIPG, although McBreen is set to return from China when his five-month loan deal expires on October 31.
While McBreen's absence from pre-season and the first three rounds of the season will not be ideal for Central Coast, the cash-strapped A-League club are thrilled to have the 36-year-old striker's wages covered by the Chinese Super League outfit for five months.
McBreen said he was excited at the prospect of a half-year adventure in China with one of Shanghai's three CSL clubs.
"It is something I am looking forward to," McBreen said in a statement released by the Mariners.
"Obviously Bernie has gone there.
"It's a wonderful city and a club that is looking to do things and get bigger and better, so to be part of that will be a great experience."
McBreen left Australia on Friday and will have several of weeks of training with his new teammates before he becomes eligible to play for Shanghai SIPG on July 1.
Shanghai SIPG sit 12th in the Chinese Super League after just three wins in the opening 12 rounds of the season and will be hoping McBreen and Ibini can inspire a push up the ladder.
McBreen believes the Mariners' push into the Round of 16 of the AFC Champions League, where they faced CSL leaders Guangzhou Evergrande, played a part in his move to China.
"We did well in making the last 16 of the AFC Champions League," McBreen said.
"With Bernie going there and now myself we have obviously made an impression and we think we can make a good impact over there.
"It's nice to get recognition and the chance to play in a country and a city that is on the up."
Because of his loan deal in China, McBreen will first be available to play for Central Coast in their derby clash with Newcastle Jets on November 2 in Round 4.