Marco Tulio to depart Central Coast Mariners for ‘life-changing opportunity’

Central Coast Mariners have confirmed the departure of star forward Marco Tulio after an undisclosed fee was agreed with Japanese top flight side Kyoto Sanga.

While they were desperate to keep Tulio, the Mariners have opted not to stand in the Brazilian’s way after he expressed a desire to make the move which ‘presents a life-changing opportunity for Marco and his family’, according to a club release on Thursday afternoon AEDT.

The 25-year-old will play his final game for the club away at Western Sydney Wanderers on January 6, but Mariners fans will have the chance to say farewell in the traditional New Years Eve clash against Perth Glory at Industree Group Stadium.

Since joining the club in September 2022 from Sporting CP, Tulio has contributed 10 goals and five assists across 29 games and played a key role in the club’s first Isuzu UTE A-League Championship triumph in 10 years.

“I would like to thank everyone at the Mariners and on the Central Coast for the past year and a half,” Tulio said.

“I have had an amazing time with the club  including winning the Championship last season and your support has meant a lot.

“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 Mariners Football Manager Mark Jackson wished the Brazilian the very best in the next chapter of his football journey, despite being disappointed to see him depart.

“We are obviously disappointed to lose such an influential player, but as 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.”