Olympic FC sign former A-League trio

NPL Queensland club Olympic FC have delivered a trio of massive signings as they continue to strengthen for the 2021 campaign.

The Brisbane-based club have confirmed the addition of Shannon Brady, Zac Anderson and Isaka Cernak to their squad as they seek to break their run of three straight NPL Queensland Grand Final defeats.

The trio – all former Australian youth internationals – will link under Olympic coach Ben Cahn as he seeks to bring silverware to Goodwin Park for the first time since 2013.

Brady joins after spending last season with Olympic’s cross-town rivals Brisbane City, who were relegated from NPL Queensland in 2020, while Anderson and Cernak return to Queensland after recent stints overseas.

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Brady, 24, spent five seasons with Brisbane Roar where he made 21 appearances for the club across the A-League, AFC Champions League and FFA Cup.

He was also part of the Young Roar side that won the 2018/19 National Youth League side, scoring in the final for a side that also contained current Olympians Daniel Leck and Lachlan Hunter.

Brady told olympicfc.net.au he is eager to said he can’t wait to get going in red and white this season.

“I decided to sign with Olympic because it’s a club that has been consistently performing well under Ben (Cahn) the past few years and is always striving to improve in both the league and cup,” Brady said.

“This creates a winning environment and is something I wanted to be a part of.

“My aim is to win the league and Grand Final with Olympic, the club has fallen just short in the past few years, however, this season with the core squad and a range of new signings we definitely have the players and environment to go all the way.”

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Towering centre back Anderson, 29, has played for the Olyroos, Sydney FC, Central Coast Mariners and several clubs around Asia now now brings a wealth of experience to the Olympic backline.

Most notably in Malaysia, Anderson played for Kedah where he won the Malaysian FA Cup and Super Cup, before a more recent stint in the Singapore Premier League.

He told olympicfc.net.au he is eager to embrace a role of mentoring the younger players in the squad this season, in addition to delivering on the pitch.

“Now I’m coming into the mature years of my career, I’m really excited about contributing in more of a leadership capacity, there’s a lot of great young players at the club, so I’m really looking forward to coming back and helping those boys kick on.

“I’ve seen what the club has done the last couple of years and I’m really excited to come back and contribute to the squad.

"There’s a fantastic side that Ben’s put together and the ambition has to be to win the league and to win the Grand Final this year after missing out in recent seasons.

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Cernak, 31, also brings plenty of experience to the Olympic squad having played 79 A-League games as well as plying his trade professionally in South Africa, Thailand and Singapore.

He is well travelled in the A-League having played for Brisbane Roar, North Queensland Fury, Melbourne Victory, Wellington Phoenix, Perth Glory and Central Coast Mariners during his time in the top tier.

Following his time in the A-League Cernak had spells at Supersport United in South Africa, Sisaket and Phrae United in Thailand as well as Home United in Singapore.

At international level, Cernak has represented Australia at both U23 and U20 levels, including five goals in 19 appearances for the Young Socceroos.

“Olympic is a big club and a well supported club and you never want to say that you expect to win but we expect to do very well," Cernak told olympicfc.net.au

“We’re ambitious and I just want to do as much as I can to help the team push over that final barrier and win, and of course we want to go as far as we can in the FFA Cup.”

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