D?Apuzzo has been on trial with the yellow and navy for much of the past month, making three non-competitive appearances and impressing in each of them on the left side of defence.
With pace in abundance, a strong work ethic, a noteworthy repute at youth level and a burgeoning reputation as a senior player, D?Apuzzo?s capture is indeed a significant coup for the Mariners, who have now welcomed four new faces to their 2008/09 line up.
D?Apuzzo?s signing also sets the scene for another sibling rivalry when the Mariners take on northern rivals the Newcastle Jets.
Jets regular Adam D?Apuzzo is David?s older brother, while fellow new Mariners recruit Ahmad Elrich is the senior of Newcastle young gun Tarek.
“We had identified David as a potential recruit several months ago and have been monitoring his progress in the NSW Premier League for quite some time ? as such, we are delighted to have come to an agreement with this exceptionally talented young player,” said Mariners Executive Chairman Lyall Gorman.
“We have been searching for a left-sided player to complement the likes of Adrian Caceres and Dean Heffernan and we see David as a player that can fulfill those roles and feature quite prominently throughout the season.
“David was courted by at least one other Hyundai A-League club and we?re thrilled that he has chosen to sign with the Mariners, where he will be given a deserved opportunity to further develop his game and prosper in a professional environment.”
D?Apuzzo is presently with powerhouse state level club APIA Leichhardt, for whom he will complete the remainder of the current NSW Premier League season before linking with the Mariners in time for the start of the Hyundai A-League 2008/09 campaign.
While at Lambert Park with APIA Leichhardt, D?Apuzzo has been one of the cornerstone members of the Tigers? charge ? earning a place as a regular starter amongst a line up laden with Hyundai A-League and National Soccer League experienced players.
D?Apuzzo has been capped for Australia several times at Under 17 level, including three starting appearances at the 2005 FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Peru.
Here, D?Apuzzo lined up alongside fellow Hyundai A-League starlets Leigh Broxham, Nathan Burns, Robbie Kruse and Kaz Patafta and contributed a full ninety minutes to Australia?s sole triumph of the tournament ? a 2-1 win over Uruguay in the Qantas Joeys? final group match.
“I?m delighted to have been given the chance by the Mariners to play in the Hyundai A-League, it?s been a goal of mine to break into this competition since it began and I can?t wait to get involved,” said D?Apuzzo.
“I?ve been in and around the Mariners for about a month now and can only say good words about the club, from the administration to the coaching staff and the players ? the club has a top class set up and one that is exciting to be introduced to as a player.
“With the way the team is shaping up for the new season, I?m confident that we can achieve honours and push for some trophies and I?ll be hoping to personally play a big part in that.”
Simultaneous with D?Apuzzo?s capture, the Mariners also announced today that Ian McAndrew, who debuted with the club last season, would not be offered a new contract.
McAndrew made one substitute appearance for his hometown club over the course of the Hyundai A-League 2007/08 season and was the first player to graduate to the senior Mariners line up from the clubs one of a kind Youth Academy structure.
“Ian has been a tremendous ambassador during his time with the Mariners and we thank him for his contribution to our historic third Hyundai A-League season,” said Mariners Executive Chairman Lyall Gorman.
“As always, we will never completely shut the door on any player and we certainly believe that Ian has the potential to develop into a fine footballer and we will monitor his future progress with great interest.”