Perez speaks out
Central Coast Mariners midfielder Patricio Perez has expressed his disappointment at the way events have unfolded after his eventful Hyundai A-League debut, but vowed to come back bigger and better in two week’s time when the Mariners face Gold Coast United.
Central Coast Mariners midfielder Patricio Perez has expressed his disappointment at the way events have unfolded after his eventful Hyundai A-League debut, but vowed to come back bigger and better in two week-s time when the Mariners face Gold Coast United.
Speaking through an interpreter, Perez emphasised his near-faultless disciplinary record at the top level, and denied he is being punished for the reputation of South American players as divers.
"In eight years I-ve been playing at the top level, I-ve had an impeccable record, and nothing like this has ever happened before.
"This has nothing to do with South Americans, it was a specific event and any player in my position would be hurting. Any player that received the suspension I have would be upset," said Perez.
Perez also reiterated his firm commitment and desire to continue at the Central Coast Mariners amid rumours of a return home to Argentina.
"For a fleeting moment I thought about going home, but no it-s crazy, there-s no way I-d go home I am here to play.
"The people have been great, the public in general have been good to me and the club has supported me throughout. I am feeling great," said Perez.
The club-s Chairman Peter Turnbull also spoke of their decision to call in biomechanical experts to give their professional opinion of footage of the incident.
"Biomechanical experts at the University of Newcastle confirmed that the way he fell and the way he was, he must have been knocked off-balance," said Turnbull.
Perez insists, despite claims from Sydney FC goalkeeper Liam Reddy, that there was contact on his trailing left leg.
"Without a doubt there was a touch. I was heading at speed toward the goalkeeper, and I touched the ball to my right. I felt a touch which put me off-balance and I fell to the ground, so there was definitely a touch," Perez said.
The Argentine was philosophical about his ban however, and believes the rest will allow him to fully overcome a niggling hamstring problem to be fully fit and ready for the Mariners clash at Gold Coast United in two week-s time.
"This sort of thing happens in football and I just want to get on with things.
"I am working hard on the physical part of my game, and there is no doubt that when I play in two week-s time I will be in a much better condition physically.
"I am very enthusiastic about what-s ahead, in 35 minutes I felt good, I played well, and when I was on the park the team had various opportunities at goal.
"I think that moving forward I can do a lot better, and the team can do a lot better."
Club officials also reaffirmed the position of the Central Coast Mariners, and their disappointment with the way the matter has been dealt with, but have a positive outlook for the future of these regulations.
"The way the matter has been dealt with has been unfair and it hasn-t allowed the natural course of justice to take place.
"I-m pleased to say however that at least the FFA is now seeing our position, and they intend to review it in October, with a view to introducing a right of appeal," said Turnbull.
Mr Turnbull also ruled out taking any further legal action, because of the difficult and time-consuming nature of the case.
"The difficulty is, we would have got an injunction but the court case would have had to prove that the FFA had no right to write the regulations that way and that could take months and months and it-s far too difficult and we are better off I think to accept what the system is, try to improve the system, and then move forward," Turnbull said.