Another overseas recruit for Mariners as Chinese striker signs ahead of Liberty A-League return

Wurigumula will bring Olympic experience to Emily Husband’s squad as its fourth visa signing writes Tom Smithies

The Mariners have added striking power ahead of their return to the Liberty A-League in a fortnight with the signing of Chinese international Wurigumula.

The 27-year-old international played for her country at the 2020 Olympics but was a surprise last-minute omission from China’s World Cup squad in July. Quickly recalled after their group stage exit, she scored twice against Mongolia at the Asian Games last week.

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Wurigumula played in the Chinese Super League Women’s competition last year for Changchun Jiuyin Loans in the 2022 league season and becomes the Mariners’ fourth visa signing ahead of their competition kick off under Emily Husband.

“Wurigumula has so many great qualities, including her work in and around the penalty area. She has some top-quality experience having played in the Olympics and in and around the national team,” Husband said.

Rafaelle of Brazil and Wurigumula of China compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Football Tournament.

“To have someone to get on the end of passes and is clinical around the box is brilliant for us. We know that she will bring that experience to the squad as well as her quality, both of which will be extremely important this season.”

The striker’s acquisition follows the overseas signings of ex-Everton and Reading defender Faye Bryson, plus American duo Rola Badawiya (formerly of Sydney FC) and ex-Fiorentina defender Jazmin Wardlow, as Husband builds a squad to play the Mariners’ first women’s season since 2008/09.

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“I am thrilled to have signed with the Mariners for the A-League season,” Wurigumula said in a club statement.

“I have heard great things about Australian football and the Central Coast Mariners as a club, so I am excited to be joining them.

“It is great to have the team returning to the competition this season and I can’t wait to be a part of it. The Mariners have been so supportive so far and I am excited to get started.”