ZAC Anderson would have loved to have returned to Queensland but the prospect of winning another title with Central Coast proved too appealing for the rising Sunshine Coast export.
The 22-year-old has re-signed with the 2012-13 champion Mariners for another season despite having promising discussions with Brisbane Roar coach Mike Mulvey.
"I was talking to Mike and I was definitely contemplating making a switch back to Queensland, but I just think for now that I'm very comfortable down here," Anderson said ahead of tomorrow's clash with Perth.
"I'm very happy with the club and I'm very much looking forward to hopefully winning another title with the Mariners."
Anderson attracted interest from several clubs but the lure of returning to his home state was strong, particularly because he would have had the chance to again work with Mulvey, who was instrumental in his development from 2009-12 at the now defunct Gold Coast.
The defender eventually decided, however, to remain at Gosford, with an eye towards Europe.
"It's always important that you're happy with your surroundings and I'm very happy with where I'm living and with the culture at the club, so I think it's the best place for me to develop and keep playing good football," he said.
"I decided to sign on for another year to give myself the best opportunity to play some more consistent football and hopefully push to get something overseas."
Anderson started in 17 of 23 matches for the Mariners last season and four of five for the side this campaign.
"I don't see myself as a youth player anymore. I see myself as an important part of the team and that's why I re-signed," he said.
"I don't want to be a player around the fringes. I know my work, I know I can give value to a team and I know I can help a team try and win titles. That's the confidence I bring and I think the coaches see that."
Anderson went to the Mariners after being given an opportunity there by coach Graham Arnold.
"I was in a difficult place when the Gold Coast finished because I hadn't played that much football and everyone knows there's so many talented footballers out there," Anderson said.
"The spots in the pro ranks are few and far between so I was very grateful that Arnie gave me the opportunity and I tried to take it with both hands and work as hard as I could to impress him and the club.
"I felt like over the last year or two I've gained the respect of the coaches and the players and I think that's pushed me on."
Arnold quit the Mariners last week to take up a job offer in Japan, but before leaving he urged the club to re-sign Anderson.
With his contract extended, Anderson is intent on impressing new coach Phil Moss.
"Arnie was an integral part of me first signing ... but now it's more about playing under the new boss, who I have a lot of respect for," Anderson said.
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