Confirmed: Mariners star leaves with ‘full blessing’ after Scottish club triggers buy-out clause

Scottish side Aberdeen have signed Isuzu UTE A-League Championship winning defender James McGarry from Central Coast Mariners for an undisclosed fee.

McGarry becomes the latest Mariner to be poached by an overseas club, joining Jason Cummings (Mohun Bagan), Sammy Silvera (Middlesbrough), Nectar Triantis (Sunderland) and Anthony Pavlesic (Bayern Munich) – who all left the club for a fee.

Aberdeen triggered McGarry’s buyout clause, allowing him to join the Scottish Premiership side, who kicked off their campaign last week with a 0-0 draw against Livingston last Sunday.

“I am extremely happy for James and his family to get this opportunity to join a strong SPL  club with a great history in Aberdeen. When we brought Jimmy in January we knew his  potential and ability and it was simply about him enjoying his football again,” Mariners coach Nick Montgomery said.

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“He was outstanding for us and played a big part in our success last season. When Aberdeen triggered his buy out clause we had a long conversation and agreed it was a fantastic chance  for Jimmy to get back into European football as well as secure the future of his young family.” 

“Jimmy leaves with our full blessing and I have no doubt he will become an important player  for Aberdeen and reclaim his spot back in the New Zealand national team.

“He told me his ambition when I signed him and as a club we are really happy we could help him achieve  this in such a short space of time by giving him the platform and I know he is extremely grateful.” 

The left-back joined the Mariners from Newcastle Jets in February this season and made an enormous impact in his short-time at the club, securing a spot in the starting XI almost immediately.

McGarry made 14 appearances and scored three goals, including a stunning long-range strike in the Mariners’ Semi Final first leg win over Adelaide United.

The New Zealander went on to start in their 6-1 Grand Final win over Melbourne City, playing a key role in their victory over the reigning premiers.

“I want to express my heartfelt thanks for the incredible time I’ve had at this special club.  Monty and Sergio, your belief in me has meant the world. Your guidance and support have  been invaluable, and I’m truly grateful for the opportunity to be part of this championship  team,” McGarry said.  

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“To all the staff and players, thank you for making every day memorable. Your dedication,  hard work, and camaraderie have made this experience truly special. And of course, a massive shoutout to the fans!

“Your unwavering support has been a driving force, and I’m  proud to have been part of such a passionate community. You’ve made me feel like part of a  this big family. Once a Mariner, always a Mariner!”

The Mariners kick-off their 2023-24 campaign this Sunday, when they face Sydney FC in the Round of 32 of the Australia Cup.