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As revealed by The World Game on Friday, Duke will undergo a medical in Japan before putting pen to paper with the J.League side as he looks set to become the latest Mariner to seal an overseas deal.
“I came through the youth stages of the Mariners for two years and was rewarded with a first team contract, so my time at the Mariners has been unbelievable,” Duke said.
“I’ve signed a pre-agreement deal and I’ll be going over to Japan on Tuesday to complete a medical so once the medical clears up I’ll be signing a full contract.
“The J.League is a well-respected league all around the world, all you have to do is take a look at the Japanese national team to see the quality players the J-League can produce.”
Duke will join a long list of former Central Coast stars now playing overseas, with the likes of Mustafa Amini (Borussia Dortmund), Oliver Bozanic (FC Luzern), Mathew Ryan (Club Brugge), Trent Sainsbury (PEC Zwolle), Tom Rogic (Celtic), Alex Wilkinson (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors) and Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace) all having representing the Gosford-based club.
Duke has netted three times this season and head coach Phil Moss said the striker deserved his move.
“It always gives us as a club, playing and coaching staff great pleasure to have played a role in helping a young player develop his game to a point where it attracts interest from big leagues and the J.League is arguably the biggest in the Asian region,” he said.
“Mitchell Duke is the next Mariners player to come off the club’s production line and now gets his chance overseas.
“The timing is never great when you lose a key player mid-season but it gives other players the opportunity to step up and of course, we have Fabio Ferreira ready to go this week.
“It’s a great opportunity for ‘Dukey’ to take his career to the next level and he goes with our blessing.”