Dutchman leaves Coast for Korea

January 19, 2011

Dutch defender Bas van den Brink has turned his back on a new contract with Gold Coast United to sign a far more lucrative deal with Korean club Busan IPark FC.

Foundation player van den Brink said he was keen to extend his two-year stint with the fourth-placed Coast but received an offer he couldn't refuse from the K-League outfit.

"I've had a fantastic time at Gold Coast United and will miss the club, the fans, my teammates and the area," the 28-year-old said.

"But the deal put forward from Busan IPark was a very, very good one and I would be mad to turn it down.

"It was a difficult decision but now that its out in the open I just want to concentrate 100 per cent on making sure we push for success and end this season on a high."

Van den Brink, who has been playing in the midfield with skipper Jason Culina on Socceroos duty, made a three-day visit to Korea last month to hold talks with the club and view their facilities.

Gold Coast had already tabled a contract extension for him but coach Miron Bleiberg bore no grudges.

"On and off the field Bas is an excellent guy and he is proof that even at the age of 28 you can still improve and learn, which is a good lesson for everyone," Bleiberg said.

"If you're dedicated and work hard then the sky is the limit."

Gold Coast's top-two A-League hopes slipped with a 1-all draw away to Melbourne Heart on Wednesday night which left them seven points from second placed Central Coast, albeit with a game in hand.