Mariners reinforce defence with Uskok

The former Melbourne Knights captain gets his first shot at professional football in Gosford with Tony Walmsley looking to use the holding midfielder in central defence
Tony Walmsley's revolution at Central Coast Mariners has taken another step on Monday with the signing of former Melbourne Knights captain Tomislav Uskok.

The 24-year-old, who can play as both a holding midfielder and central defender, has signed a contract with the Gosford-based club until the end of the season.

Under Walmsley, the Mariners have adopted a free-flowing, attacking style of play, while the Manchester-born coach has also shown a willingness to get rid of players who question his methods.

Veteran defender Eddy Bosnar has already left this season, while goalkeeper Liam Reddy has been banished from the club, although the Mariners have yet to come to finalise the termination of the latter's contract.

Uskok was set to play for Sydney United in the NPL New South Wales next year but now gets his first chance in professional football.

"Tomi trialled during pre-season after I'd watched him captain Melbourne Knights," Walmsley said in a club statement. 

"He impressed us then but we couldn't bring him into the squad due to numbers.

"When he came in pre-season he impressed us with his character and attributes, he's six-foot-five and quite elegant in possession with a good range of passing. 
 
"He will push for a place at centre back as well as a holding midfielder and joins us at a good time for both the club and Tomi.

"As a central defender you'd like to think that in two weeks he could be available for selection but right now looking at the games ahead, we play Sunday into Thursday that might be too soon but you never know."