CENTRAL Coast Mariners have boosted their midfield strength by signing former Newcastle and Sydney FC star Stuart Musialik for the upcoming A-League season.
Musialik, who won A-League titles with both the Jets and Sky Blues, heads to the Mariners after three seasons with Sydney.
He was released by Sydney at the end of last season and seemed adrift without a club as the new season loomed closer until he was saved by Mariners coach Graham Arnold, who coached Musialik at the 2008 Beijing games.
"I play the type of football Arnie likes to coach, which was a key factor why I chose to come to the Mariners," he said.
"When I was working with Arnie with the Olyroos and Gary van Egmond at Newcastle, that was when I was playing my best football.
"In the last couple of years at Sydney I've shot off the radar. The challenge for me here is to get back to the level I was at."
Musialik's deal ties him to the club until the end of the Mariners' 2012 Asian Champions League group stage.
With the likes of John Hutchinson, Oliver Bozanic, Rostyn Griffiths and Mustafa Amini in the Mariners squad, Musialik knows he will have to work hard to establish himself in the first-team squad.
"Arnie (Graham Arnold) is a top coach who I know well, and I've always had a good relationship with him," the 26-year-old said.
"In saying that, he has made it very clear I've got to come to the club and work my way in to the first XI.
"He's not going to give me any favours, and I'm not looking for any. It's a challenge I'm really looking forward to."