CENTRAL Coast Mariners have boosted their squad for next season by bringing in Adriano Pellegrino and Brad McDonald as the beaten grand finalists look to go one better next campaign.
The Mariners were just minutes away from claiming the championship last month as they led Brisbane 2-0 before a late flourish from Roar saw the Queenslanders equalise and the Mariners lose the most dramatic of grand finals in a penalty shoot-out.
Since then, the club have lost the services of influential Argentine Patricio Perez, who was released from the final year of his contract for personal reasons, allowing him to return to South America.
Along with Perez, the club has also release former Juventus goalkeeper Jess Vanstrattan, who missed the entire last season through injury, and striker Nik Mrdja, along with Chris Doig and Paul Henderson.
But coach Graeme Arnold has already taken steps to rebuild his squad, officially announcing Pellegrino and McDonald as members of the squad on Friday afternoon, with Pellegrino on a two-year deal and McDonald signed up to the end of the Asian Champions League group stage.
au.fourfourtwo.com first revealed details of Pellegrino's move late last year when he was expected to make the switch in January to join the Mariners for their push into the finals.
Right midfielder Pellegrino, 26, will go some way to replacing Perez, as the midfielder was one of the leading goal-assist players in the league last season, even if he didn't quite match his performances from the 2008-09 campaign when he was voted Perth's Most Glorious Player.
"I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to start this new chapter of my life and my career, and to be able to do it at a club that's been successful and has had a great season is fantastic," said Pellegrino
"Arnie (Graham Arnold) and Phil (Moss) did a great job last season and hopefully we as a team can take the next step next season and win that championship."
Versatile former North Queensland player McDonald can be used in a variety of roles, having played 25 matches for the now defunct Fury last season.
"I'm very excited about moving there and joining the club that were Grand Finalists last season," he said.
"The Champions League should be great, and that's something else I'm really looking forward to. They’ve got some great coaches there also, and it seems like a great community that I can’t wait to be a part of."
McDonald isn't the only former Fury player to arrive at Gosford, with goalkeeper Justin Pasfield also playing for the Mariners next season.
Another new signing for the club is former Wellington defender Troy Hearfield, who is currently on loan at Pelita Jaya.