Bosnich prepares to make A-League debut
Former Socceroos bad boy Mark Bosnich couldn't be happier as he prepares to make his A-League debut - but won't be drawn on his long-term future.
"They say you don't truly miss something or know how much it meant to you until it's gone or taken away from you ... and I have missed it," said Bosnich, who rated his current enjoyment factor 9.5 out of ten.
Central Coast confirmed the former Australian, Manchester United and Chelsea goalkeeper had signed a seven-week contract.
The 36-year-old could play his first professional competition match in nearly seven years on Saturday when the Mariners host Sydney FC at Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford.
Bosnich last donned the gloves at the top level for English Premier League giants Chelsea in late 2001 before a high profile fall from grace for off-field indiscretions that included a nine-month ban after failing a drug test.
"I'm just looking forward to taking this step by step and doing these games and then we can see afterwards where things lie," said Bosnich.
After such a lengthy absence from the game he admitted to being both nervous and excited about the prospect of playing again professionally.
"I have been away for a very long time so the excitement and profile (of where the game is at) is very different for me," he added.
"Without being disrespectful to past players or past leagues, from what I remember soccer in Australia appears to be a different type of event.
"Soccer in Australia has obviously progressed a long, long way and I'm just happy to be part of it."
Aside from two trial appearances for the Mariners in the pre-season cup, the last time Bosnich played a club match in Australia was as a 19-year-old in December 1991 when he appeared for Sydney United in the National Soccer League.
His signing coincides with the absence of Mariners' regular goalkeeper Danny Vukovic who starts a five-match ban in round three for striking the hand of referee Mark Shield in last season's A-League grand final.
Bosnich said he had lost 5kg since starting training with the Mariners and was looking to shed a further 5kg in the short term.
"I feel very, very fit, but I still have a long way to go," he said.
"I think that will come with match practice and in the next three weeks I am looking forward to getting back to a certain level that is comparable to where I was in the past.
"If I can lose another five kilos I will have a real opportunity to see within myself how close I can get to back to where I was.
"I feel like I am making progress every day. The goalkeeper coach, John Crawley, has been excellent with me and also working with all those young boys it puts a fire back in the belly."
Winner of an English Premier League championship medal with Manchester United in 2000, Bosnich was regarded by many as one of the best goalkeepers in the world at the time.
He played at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and featured in two World Cup campaigns, being capped 17 times in a seven-year national team career from 1993-2000.
Currently spending much of his time living at Terrigal on the NSW Central Coast, Bosnich said he was happy, settled and enjoying having his family around after such a long time away.
He is also looking forward to doing some charity work with Essere, a youth program focussed on bullying, depression and suicide.
"It's time for me to put something back, not only into football, but into the community, and using the experiences I have had to help people less fortunate than me," he said.
"And I'll continue to do that because I think I have a duty and a responsibility to do that.
"It's good to use your bad experiences for a positive."
Bosnich's contract expires after the home game against Wellington Phoenix on October 19.
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