The Central Coast Mariners have announced today that Brazilian attacker Marco Túlio will leave the club in January, in what is being touted as a life-changing opportunity.
The 25-year-old will be heading to Japanese J1 League side Kyoto Sanga for an undisclosed fee.
The Mariners confirm that, while desperate to keep Tulio, the financial powers of Japanese clubs left them unable to compete.
Túlio, who was an integral part of Central Coast’s A-League Men’s Championship triumph in the 2022/23 season, has scored two goals and assisted his teammates on four occasions this season, in addition to his eight goals in the AFC Cup group stage.
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The Brazilian says that the Mariners will always have a special place in his memory.
“I would like to thank everyone at the Mariners and on the Central Coast for the past year and a half. I have had an amazing time with the club including winning the Championship last season and your support has meant a lot,” he said.
“While I am leaving to take up a life changing opportunity in Japan, the Mariners will forever hold an important place in my heart and will always be a club that I remember with great joy.”
Central Coast’s manager, Mark Jackson, says he’s disappointed to see Tulio depart, but wishes him the best.
“We are obviously disappointed to lose such an influential player, but as a club we could never stand in the way of a life-changing move for Marco and his family,” he said.
“Marco has been a fantastic servant to the club over his time here, helping the club achieve great success. A favourite among fans, we are sad to see him go. We wish him the very best and thank him for his contributions to the Mariners.”
Túlio joins the likes of talented players Jason Cummings, Samuel Silvera and Beni Nkololo in leaving the Mariners this season.
To add insult to injury, Central Coast’s title-winning head coach, Nick Montgomery, also left the club in the off season.
Currently sitting 8th on the ladder, the Central Coast Mariners may look towards replacing some of these departures in the January transfer window, especially with AFC Cup commitments due to add extra fixtures as the season progresses.
Marco Tulio’s final game for the Central Coast Mariners will be an away trip to face Western Sydney on Saturday 6 January.