Mariners eye former Premier League defender Cisse

The Central Coast Mariners have wasted no time in sourcing a replacement for Alan Baro in the heart of defence, lining up former Reading defender Kalifa Cisse.

Cisse, 34, is currently free agent after leaving Thai League 1 club BEC Tero Sasana, the club which Mike Mulvey took charge of during the 2017 season before he returned to Australia to take the reins at the Mariners.

Although Cisse played the bulk of his career as a holding midfielder, he has lately been playing as a central defender, and it is there where the Mariners see him becoming a like-for-like replacement for Baro.

Born in France, Cisse would go on to represent Mali at international level, earning five caps between 2008 and 2012.

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His international career was unfortunately restricted by presence of some legendary players in his position, including Seydou Keita, Mahamadou Diarra and Adama Coulibaly.

While Baro was stoic in his single season at Central Coast, his contract was mutually terminated this week.



The club have been looking for a more commanding presence in the back line, precisely what the more vocal Cisse provides.

The Mariners are also convinced Cisse’s age won’t be a problem, having already confirmed his fitness levels are comparable with the fittest players at the club.

Coming through the youth ranks of esteemed development club Toulouse, Cisse made his professional debut in Portugal with Estoril before making the switch to one of the biggest clubs in Portugal, Boavista.

He spent two seasons there before making the switch to then-Premier League club Reading, who signed him for just shy of €1 million ($1.5m) in 2007. He stayed there until 2010, making 90 league appearances and scoring seven goals, before joining Bristol City for another two years.

Cisse then had short spells with MLS club New England Revolution and English Championship side Derby County before moving to Thailand, where he played for Bangkok United, Bangkok Glass and BEC Tero Sasana, making well over 100 appearances in the top flight.


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2 min read
Published 8 June 2018 at 10:19am
Source: SBS The World Game