Central Coast Mariners are close to completing their squad for the 2013-14 A-League season with the addition of Dutch defender Marcel Seip.
The Mariners have seen Mat Ryan [Club Brugge], Bernie Ibini-Isei [Shanghai SIPG], Oliver Bozanic [FC Luzern], Pedj Bojic [Sydney FC] and Patrick Zwaanswijk [retired] leave the team since they won the A-League Grand Final in April.
But despite losing five starters from their Grand Final win, the Gosford-based club look to be building a strong group of players for the upcoming domestic season with Seip taking their squad to 21.
The reigning A-League champions' head coach Graham Arnold claimed last month Central Coast should be given an extra import spot to offset their player losses.
But with Seip having signed for three seasons, effectively a direct replacement for Zwaanswijk in central defence, Arnold's argument looks to be slightly disingenuous, with the A-League's most consistent club looking on track for another strong season.
"I have a number of knowledgeable scouts in Europe and they gave Marcel the thumbs up," Arnold told ccmariners.com.au.
"He is a strong defender and someone I believe will add steel to our backline which can already be selected from Joshua Rose, Trent Sainsbury, Zac Anderson, Brent Griffiths, Hayden Morton, Michael Neill and Storm Roux."
Seip appeared 34 times for Dutch Eredivisie club VVV Venlo last season and has also played with Heerenveen in his native country.
He also has extensive experience in England, having made 134 league appearances for Plymouth Argyle and 23 for Bradford City.
The 31-year-old central defender revealed he chose Central Coast as his next club after speaking with Mariners' midfielder Nick Montgomery, who he played alongside during a loan stint with Sheffield United.
"This is a major decision in my life as I have to move my whole family over to Australia," Seip said.
"But it was quite an easy decision to make.
"I spoke to (Nick) Montgomery and he said life is amazing, that football in Australia is on the up, and that the Mariners are the current A-League Champions.
"My wife is also close friends with Nick's wife and we have been in contact since talking about Australia.
"We know a lot about the club and the area already, and that's why it was so easy to make the decision."