By FOX Sports staff
Zwaanswijk, who began his career in the Dutch Eredivisie with Utrecht, joined Central Coast in 2010 and immediately established himself as a key member of the side.
The 38-year-old played a key role in his side winning their maiden A-League premiers crown last month when he scored the opening goal in a 2-0 win over Western Sydney Wanderers in the Grand Final, and has also helped them to a place in the knockout round of Asia's premier club competition.
However, it has now emerged that the two-legged last-16 clash with Evergrande will be his last appearances for the Mariners after it was announced via the club's official website on Friday that he would be retiring from football after that.
Zwaanswijk, who has made no secret of his plans to go into coaching, will carry on at the club as the head coach of their National Youth League (NYL) side and the Dutchman believes the timing is right for him to step down and allow youngers faces to establish themselves in the side.
"At a certain point there's a transition in life," he said. "This is a great opportunity for me, so that made it a little bit easier for me to finish my career.
"For me, it's important to give back to football and to give back to, at this particular time, the Central Coast Mariners.
"It's time to step out of the way to give Zach Anderson a good chance with [Trent] Sainsbury. He's shown he is a full first-team player and, with me stepping out of the way, it gives him the chance to get all the credit he deserves."
Central Coast coach Graham Arnold was quick to praise the impact Zwaanswjik had in his three seasons at the Bluetongue Stadium and believes he answered all of the doubters that questioned the move back in 2010.
"When we signed Patrick he was 35 and more than a fair share of eyebrows were raised about him joining us," he said. "But he has proven his quality over the past three seasons, making an enormous contribution to the Mariners and the A-League.
"He's been a consistent performer for us, and his leadership qualities and ability to help other players get the best out of themselves cannot be doubted. Alex Wilkinson, Trent Sainsbury and Zach Anderson have all improved their game by playing next to him."
And although Zwaanswjik can say he will be signing off on a high following Mariners' premiership triumph, he is hoping for one last final hurrah.
"I hope there's two more highlights in my career to come," he added.
"One, the qualification to the quarter-finals in the Champions League, and two, my farewell with the Central Coast people."
Apart from his time with Utrecht and Central Coast, Zwaanswijk also played for NAC Breda and had a two-year stint in Japan with J.League outfit Oita Trinita.