Son of Socceroos great joins Mariners

July 7, 2013
By Roje Adaimy

The teenage son of former Socceroos star Robbie Slater has signed with A-League champions Central Coast on a three-year deal.

Sixteen-year-old Tom Slater joined the Mariners on Monday for his first pre-season training session as a full-time professional footballer, following a successful season with Sydney FC's youth team.

Slater, whose father was played 44 games for the Socceroos and became the first Australian to win the English Premier League title in 1994-95, said he was keen to work with coach Graham Arnold.

"Hopefully if I train well I'll get a shot," the left-winger told the Mariners' website. "I can see that he's (Arnold) done that with young players before."

Arnold said the Mariners were very lucky to nab Slater from Sydney FC, who were interested in offering him a deal.

"It's a good opportunity to develop him, educate him, and hopefully he'll end up a good product," said Arnold, a former Socceroos teammate of Slater's dad.

"Obviously Tom is the son of Robbie Slater, who is my good mate. I went and watched Tom on numerous occasions without his father around to make sure he has the qualities, and he does have the qualities."

The Mariners on Monday also announced the signing of Kiwi youngster Storm Roux on a two-year contract.

The 20-year-old right-back recently featured in all three of New Zealand's group matches at the Under-20s FIFA World Cup in Turkey.

However Roux, who made his A-League for Perth Glory last season, won't count as a foreign signing because he holds Australian citizenship.

"I got a big confidence boost when I found out a big club like the Mariners and a coach like Graham Arnold wanted me," Roux said.