The Mariners on Thursday confirmed the signing of Jem Karacan for the rest of the season and hope to unveil him for their next home game against Melbourne Victory on February 2.
Karacan, a Turkish youth international, arrived in Gosford on Tuesday following a four-game stint with Championship club Millwall in England's second-tier.
The 29-year-old also had stints at Turkish giants Galatasaray and English club Bolton, though he is best known for his 175-game career at Reading.
It was there he played alongside current Mariners defender Kalifa Cisse and Sydney FC marquee Adam Le Fondre.
Karacan captained Reading, Bolton and Turkish age group sides and hopes to use that experience to help lift the Mariners from the foot of the A-League table.
"I'm a leader, hopefully I can show the lads on and off the pitch that I'm a good professional who leads by example," Karacan said.
"I'm hopeful I can shine and do everything I can to help the club."
Mariners coach Mike Mulvey, whose side have claimed just one victory all year, revealed the club was in negotiations with Karacan prior to the season betting underway.
Talks then resumed just before Christmas, and Mulvey suggested a good showing could lead to a contract extension.
"The first thing you need to look at with a VISA player coming in is their attitude, what kind of demeanour are they going to bring," Mulvey said.
"We've signed Jem on a short-term contract, so he will need to come in and prove a point. If it goes well, we will look at longer term.
"Right now, he's coming out to play and to win."
After going down 1-0 to Newcastle on Wednesday, the Mariners meet Adelaide on the road on Sunday before returning home to host the Victory.