Expansion club to poach Socceroo from Sydney rival
MACARTHUR FC are set announce their inaugural signing with the expansion club on verge of securing Central Coast veteran Tommy Oar on a multi-year deal from next A-League season.
The Socceroo is set to be coach Ante Milicic's first signing at the south-west Sydney club after missing out on Sydney FC stars Milos Ninkovic and Michael Zullo.
The Bulls however remain in the hunt for the Sky Blues' midfielder Luke Brattan for the 2020-21 season.
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Oar has been on Macarthur's wishlist for some time and could be in line for the captain's armband should he sign.
The 28-year-old Oar was given the vice-captaincy role by Alen Stajcic at the Mariners.
He has worked alongside Milicic at the Socceroos when the Macarthur boss was assistant to Ange Postecoglou. He last played for Australia in 2015.
He returned to Australia in 2016 with his hometown club Brisbane Roar. A short stint in Cyprus with APOEL Nicosia followed before linking up in Gosford under Mike Mulvey last season.
A knee injury cut his season short as the Mariners slumped to the wooden spoon. He recovered from his setback and has since found form and fitness under Stajcic.
Macarthur have been on an aggressive recruitment drive heading into their first season in October.
Former Mariners and Sydney FC winger Bernie Ibini was approached by Macarthur while Melbourne Victory forward Elvis Kamsoba turned down an offer from the Bulls.
Milicic's side are putting a heavy emphasis on youth development having already dug up dirt on their training complex which is set to be opened in their second season.
They launched the Charles Perkins Soccer Academy in October last year and have reached partnership agreements with local football associations in their catchment area in an attempt to streamline grassroots football to the professional tier.
Matildas coach Milicic will see out his contract after the Tokyo Olympics, should they qualify. He is juggling recruitment at Macarthur and the women's national team simultaneously.