A-League history as Sydney FC snare star
CENTRAL Coast wantaway Daniel De Silva has become the A-League's inaugural intra-league loanee after completing his much-speculated move to Sydney FC.
Football Federation Australia on Tuesday officially approved a change to the regulations to allow Australian players under the age of 23 to move between clubs on loan for up to one season.
Hot on the heels of the announcement the Sky Blues have confirmed a deal with De Silva months in the making, making the talented playmaker the first player since the A-league's inception to go on loan to a domestic rival.
The Perth-born 21-year-old has been eager to get out of Gosford despite having three seasons left on his Mariners marquee contract and has not reported for pre-season training under new coach Mike Mulvey.
The recruitment of De Silva, a potential future Socceroo who has represented Australia at all youth levels, is a coup for new Sydney coach Steve Corica after interest from other A-League clubs including Melbourne City and Brisbane Roar.
It's also a short-term win for the Mariners, who were unwilling to let him join a rival for free and now, at least for 12 months, do not have to pay his wages.
In the long term, Central Coast will likely look to secure a transfer fee by offloading him to an overseas club.
The Mariners' brusque media release implied they did not expect De Silva to return.
"The Central Coast Mariners thank De Silva for his efforts and wish him all the best in his future endeavours," it read.
Under FFA's new rules, clubs can loan in or out a maximum of two players at any time over the period of a full season or on a shorter basis in line with Australia's FIFA transfer windows.
Loan fees are explicitly prohibited and, crucially, loaned players will not be allowed to play against their parents clubs, ruling De Silva out of any clashes with the Mariners.
"Danny is a great signing for us, as there were a number of other A-League clubs who wanted him," Corica said.
"He is a quality young player who will benefit and learn from the talent we have at the club already, and I think we will see the best of him this season."
De Silva will make his Sky Blues debut on Wednesday night in the club's pre-season hit-out with Sutherland Sharks at Kogarah.
"This is a massive move for me and I'm eager to learn and improve with the excellent squad at Sydney FC, and also looking forward to joining the renowned winning culture at the club," De Silva said.
"I want to win trophies and do it playing the type of exciting football the Sydney FC members expect to see.
"I'm also looking forward to playing and working under Steve Corica too. Everything he has had to say about the club and the way he intends to play excites me."