Olympic Football Club are delighted to announce former A-League and Olyroos midfielder, Isaka Cernak has signed on with the club ahead of the 2021 NPL Queensland season.
The 31-year-old brings plenty of experience to the Olympic midfield, having played 79 A-League games as well as plying his trade professionally in South Africa, Thailand and Singapore.
Cernak 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.
During his spell at the Mariners he also played in the Asian Champions league and was part of the Central Coast side that beat Olympic 3-1 in the 2014 FFA Cup Round of 16 at QSAC.
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.
“First and foremost I wanted to come back to Australia given the current situation around the world, and the first club I wanted to be at was Olympic,” Cernak said.
“I know their history, I know they’ve been very close to success and unfortunately have had a couple of set backs right at the end in recent years.
“I’ve heard plenty of good things about the Coach (Ben Cahn) through word of mouth, I know he plays good football at a very high level and it sounded like something that I was really excited to be a part of so it made my choice to come here pretty easy.
“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.
“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.”
Aside from playing, Cernak will take his first steps into coaching at Olympic with the AIS Graduate taking the reigns for the club’s U23 Women and SAP Girls programs.
“I’m really, really luck to also have the opportunity to get involved with coaching at Olympic, coaching and developing the women’s side of the game is something I’ve been passionate about since I was a kid,” Cernak said.
“Growing up in the QAS system and being highly involved with the Women’s national team who were based there as well since I was 14.
“The opportunity to get involved was something I wanted to take with both hands and take it as far as I can and learn to become a better coach while I’m doing it.
“It’s something that I look forward to developing myself over the years as I transition away from playing football, but I’ve still got a few more years of playing in me first.”
Cernak joins former fellow A-League players Zac Anderson and Shannon Brady as new faces at Goodwin Park ahead of the 2021 NPL Queensland season.
Olympic FC 2021 NPL Queensland squad (announced): Zac Anderson, Shannon Brady, Isaka Cernak, Brandon Cuminao, James Cuminao, Danny Driver, Jack Glover, Lachlan Hunter, Daniel Leck, Jez Lofthouse, Costa Psaros, Steve Whyte, Olaide Yinka-Kehinde