TWO-time NSW Premier League Gold Medal winner Robbie Cattanach will remain a Manly United player after agreeing terms on a new two-year contract with the Northern Beaches-based club.
The star striker, who netted a combined 13 goals during Manly?s impressive league and Tiger Turf Cup run which ended with a preliminary final and grand final appearance respectively, believes he can take his game to another level at Cromer Park next year.
?I have ambitions to go to the A-League on a permanent basis and I believe Manly, and the players we have there, is the right place to achieve this from,? Cattanach said this week.
?The club has been good to me and the players are great blokes to play with. The atmosphere and environment allows players to concentrate on playing good football so I?m thrilled its all sorted and I?m looking forward to getting back into pre-season training later this year.?
Cattanach was a star performer in a side which proved to be the ?dark-horse? of the season ? sneaking into the play-offs on goal difference and then coming within a couple of minutes of a grand final appearance during a controversial extra-time loss to Blacktown City in the preliminary final.
Manly United coach Phil Moss said Cattanach?s signature was a massive boost to the club.
?It?s no secret Robbie was a major player for us in 2007 and to have him commit to the next two years at Manly United is a great endorsement for the club from a fantastic player,? Moss said.
?But he genuinely appreciates what the players around him did for him last season and that, combined with the fact we stuck by him last year when his phone didn?t ring, I think were two major factors in ?Catto? agreeing to stay.
?He enjoys his football at Manly United and when you enjoy your football you have a chance to excel and take your game to a new level.
?I think he and the rest of the boys will have an even bigger and better year in 2008 – after the way our season ended there is still a bitter taste in the mouth so motivation won?t be a problem for us.?
Manly has now agreed terms with the majority of its squad, including experienced goalkeeper Brad Swancott and strikers Dusan Mihajlovic (ex-Serbian first division) and Craig Midgley (ex-Bradford City) for the 2008 season.
?The new FFA contracts and increased games in 2008 have made the process of signing players a little tougher because it adds to the financial burden of clubs in a significant way,? Moss said.
?We are getting there slowly but surely. Manly doesn?t pay ridiculous money for players but we believe we are fair and create an environment in which players can enjoy their football.?