NEWS: Mariners recruit Cairncross as Griffiths cover

24-year-old former Sydney FC defender Zac Cairncross has joined Central Coast Mariners on an injury replacement contract for Brent Griffiths through to early December 2014.

Cairncross, who played two games for the Sky Blues throughout the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 campaign, links with the yellow and a navy having enjoyed a successful spell with Blacktown City FC in the National Premier Leagues New South Wales (NPL NSW) over the past few years.

Indeed, the tall centre-back partnered fellow fresh Mariners recruit Jacob Poscoliero in defence for Blacktown City throughout their 2014 NPL NSW title triumph, and has earned his injury replacement deal after a successful trial period which included a pre-season hit-out against Newcastle Jets in Mudgee a month ago.

Cairncross said he is happy to have re-joined a Hyundai A-League club, and is keen to make the most of his second crack at Australia’s top flight.   

“I’m loving it at the Mariners,” he said today. “I never thought it would happen to be honest, but I want to take it with two hands and see where it leads me.”

“I’m loving being in this environment with all the boys, they’re great.”

“There are not too many chances going around [in the Hyundai A-League] but Mossy [Phil Moss] has shown faith in a lot of State League boys and as their performances have shown we can all handle it,” he said.

Central Coast Mariners Head Coach Phil Moss said the signing of Cairncross to his squad for the coming months ensures that he has additional player depth to select from.

“We took him [Cairncross] to Mudgee and he played against Newcastle and did very well,” Moss said. 

“He’s been one of the standout centre backs in the NPL with Blacktown this year next to Jacob Poscoliero – they have a good understanding of playing next to each other and we needed cover.”

“Our youth boys are just a little too inexperienced at the moment to cover Brent Griffiths’ injury. So we’ve brought Zac in and while at this stage it’s injury replacement, he knows that he’s got an opportunity to push for a longer term contract down the track.”

“He’s a great guy, he’s very committed, very dedicated, and very professional and he’s comfortable on the ball for a big boy,” Moss concluded.

Cairncross, who won the National Youth League 2008/09 Championship with Sydney FC, has been assigned the number 27 kit for his initial contract period with the Club.