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Central Coast Mariners

Ross McCormack's Central Coast Mariners departure confirmed

9:16 PM EST 1/4/19
Ross McCormack Central Coast Mariners
The striker has returned to the UK permanently

Ross McCormack has officially left the Central Coast Mariners in another blow for the struggling A-League club.

Fresh from being thumped 5-2 by Sydney FC on Friday night , the Mariners released a statement on Saturday announcing the on-loan Scottish striker's recall to parent club Aston Villa.

McCormack  was sent back Villa for specialist treatment on a knee injury earlier in December, but was expected to be back for the Mariners' clash against Perth Glory on New Years Eve.

However  the 26-year-old was spotted watching former club Motherwell play after when he was supposed to return to Australia  - in a clear sign he wasn't coming back Down Under.

​"I would like to thank the Central Coast Mariners and the fans for welcoming me on the Central Coast with open arms. Although I was only there for a short period, everyone made me feel very welcome from day one." McCormack said.

"The opportunity for me to return to the UK is something that I couldn't turn down and will allow me to see my children more, which is something that is very important to me.

"I wish the playing group and coaching staff all the best for the rest of the season."

McCormack scored one goal in five appearances for the Gosford-based club - a long way short of the 14 he struck for Melbourne City last season.

The Mariners have had the worst start in A-League history and remain rooted to the bottom of the table with no wins and only two points from their 11 matches.