Central Coast have confirmed striker Mitch Duke’s move to Japan.
Mitchell Duke has become the latest youngster to leave the Central Coast Mariners after the A-League club announced the striker will join J-League club Shimizu S-Pulse.
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Duke will fly out to Japan on Tuesday to undergo a medical and join the team’s pre-season camp ahead of their 2015 season.
The 24-year-old joins a long list of Mariners stars to be signed by overseas clubs including Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace), Mustafa Amini (Borussia Dortmund), Tom Rogic (Celtic), Matthew Ryan (Club Brugge), Trent Sainsbury (PEC Zwolle) and Oliver Bozanic (FC Luzern).
“Mitchell Duke is the next Mariners player to come off the club’s production line and now gets his chance overseas. The timing is never great when you lose a key player mid-season but it gives other players the opportunity to step up and of course, we have Fabio Ferreira ready to go this week,” Moss said in a club statement.
“It’s a great opportunity for ‘Dukey’ to take his career to the next level and he goes with our blessing.”
Duke said his time at the Mariners was “unbelievable” and that he was looking forward to testing himself in arguably Asia’s strongest league.
“I came through the youth stages of the Mariners for two years and was rewarded with a first team contract, so my time at the Mariners has been unbelievable,” Duke said.
“I’ve signed a pre-agreement deal and I’ll be going over to Japan on Tuesday to complete a medical so once the medical clears up I’ll be signing a full contract.
“The J-League is a well-respected league all around the world, all you have to do is take a look at the Japanese national team to see the quality players the J-League can produce. I’ve gotta work my ass off and it’s a huge challenge for me to head overseas and prove myself in another country.”
Duke made 66 A-League appearances for the Mariners, scoring 13 goals.