Buhagiar in, Simon out at Sydney FC
SYDNEY FC have confirmed the signing of forward Trent Buhagiar and the departure of Matt Simon as the club continues to rebuild in the post-Graham Arnold era.
Buhagiar joins the Sky Blues on a two-year deal from the Central Coast Mariners, with Simon going the other way.
Losing Buhagiar is a blow for new Mariners coach Mike Mulvey, but it's understood the talented 20-year-old first signalled his intent to leave the Gosford club following the departure of former coach Paul Okon.
Buhagiar played 19 games for the Mariners and the Australian under-23 international impressed with his pace. He is looking forward to linking up with the Sky Blues.
"Sydney FC are winners and I feel I can take my game to a whole new level at the Sky Blues," he said.
"I've heard nothing but good things about Sydney FC's members and fans and I can't wait to pull on the Sky Blue jersey on our journey next season.
"My aim is to work hard, give everything, fight for a place and to grow in a professional environment."
Chris Zuvela has also re-signed with Sydney for another season, with Terry McFlynn, Sydney's general manager, excited to watch the midfielder's development.
"Chris is a great professional with a great work ethic and a hunger to succeed," McFlynn said.
"He is a talented young midfielder who'll continue to develop in our professional environment. He has shown an intelligence beyond his years already and has proved he cannot only compete, but excel at this level."
Simon has opted to depart Sydney for family reasons and rejoin the Mariners, where he is the club's all-time leading goal scorer having first signed with them in 2006.
"It's great to be coming back to the Mariners," Simon said. "As soon as Mike rang me to talk about bringing me back - speaking to him and hearing the vision he has for the club, I'm really excited to play a big part in that.
"I've really enjoyed my time at Sydney but it's great now that I've been given this opportunity to come back to the Mariners where it all started, so I am really looking forward to being a part of Mike's plans for the club and I can't wait to get stuck in.
"This is my hometown, all of my family are on the Central Coast, so that's something that really excites me - I am really looking forward to the next couple of years ahead."
Meanwhile the Sky Blues are also expected to announce their new coach in the coming days, with Steve Corica firming as the favourite to take over from Arnold.