Former Mariners duo Balard and Nisbet make European and A-League moves

Exciting Moves for Mariners Alumni: Balard and Nisbet Head to New Clubs

Young midfielder Balard, 23, has secured a move to Portuguese Primeira Liga outfit Portimonense SC, signaling a significant progression in his career. The French-born player, a product of the Mariners academy, will not encounter visa issues due to his parents’ nationality, and the Central Coast club will receive a nominal fee as he departs on a free transfer.

His former teammate Nectar Triantis, currently on loan at Hibernian, expressed confidence in Balard’s ability to thrive in European football. Triantis highlighted Balard’s readiness for the challenge and praised his consistent performances for the table-topping Mariners this season.

Meanwhile, attack-minded Nisbet, 24, will join Melbourne City, the team he helped defeat in last season’s A-League grand final. Despite facing doubts about his size, Nisbet has silenced critics with impressive displays, earning consecutive PFA player of the month awards and other accolades.

Portimonense, based in the Algarve region, has been a mainstay in the top flight but is currently struggling near the bottom of the table. Balard will hope to help them avoid relegation and potentially face off against Portuguese giants like Benfica and Porto in the future.

The departures of Balard and Nisbet will be felt by the Mariners, who have a history of unearthing talented replacements for outgoing players. Triantis praised the club’s recruitment process and expressed confidence in their ability to continue producing top-quality players.

The Mariners’ success this season has been lauded by Triantis, who commended their recruitment strategy and financial gains from player sales. Despite the departures of key players, the club’s commitment to developing and replacing talent remains unwavering.

As Balard and Nisbet embark on new challenges, the Mariners will look to maintain their competitive edge and continue their tradition of nurturing promising footballers. The departure of these two talents marks the end of an era for the Central Coast club, but their legacy of discovering and developing young stars looks set to endure.

Denis Hardin

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