Hearts have signed Australian U23 left back Ben Garuccio on a pre-contract deal.
The 22-year-old has signed a three-year contract having said his goodbyes to Australian A-League club Adelaide United. Garrucio began his career at Melbourne City before signing for United in 2016.
Garuccio admitted he took the advice of a couple of his compatriots and former Jambos Dylan McGowan and Patrick Kisnorbo who encouraged him to sign for Hearts.
Garuccio told the official Hearts website:
“I’ve got quite a few friends that have played in Scotland so I was able to get a lot of advice. A few of them have played at Hearts and under Craig Levein, so that was a huge help,”
“I spoke to guys like Patrick Kisnorbo and Dylan McGowan and it was really good to get the views of Aussie boys who have played for Hearts in the past. They only had good things to say about the club.
“It’s an amazing opportunity for me to join such a big club and I can’t wait to get over to Edinburgh and get started.
“I’ve been impressed with everything I’ve seen so far. Craig showed me around and just right from the word go I had a really good feeling about the club.
“It’s always nice when a manager takes the time to find out all about you and makes you feel wanted. Being able to communicate with him and understand exactly what he wants from me has been great and I’ve got a really good feeling.
“I absolutely loved Edinburgh, the training ground is of a high standard and the stadium is unbelievable. I can’t wait to play my first game there.”
Meanwhile. Hearts have confirmed that the Foundation of Hearts pledgers have completed their £3m contribution to the Tynecastle Redevelopment Fund.
Hearts will now revert to the original 3-way agreement between the Club, FoH and BidCo, which will see Hearts become the biggest fan owned club in the UK within the next two years.
Stuart Wallace, FoH Chairman, told the official Hearts website:
“In 2016, Ann Budge made an offer to FoH pledgers to defer repayment of the BidCo loan in favour of contributing £3 million towards the development of the Main Stand.
“That offer was overwhelmingly accepted by the FoH membership and we are delighted to have now paid the agreed £3 million on schedule.
“We now continue on our extraordinary journey which has seen Hearts go from the brink of liquidation to a club that is laying down the foundations for a bright future, epitomised by the development of the new Main Stand at Tynecastle Park.
“The journey, made possible thanks to the monthly contributions of thousands of Hearts supporters, now continues and that backing will be absolutely vital as we move towards fan ownership of the club.”
Ann Budge, Hearts Chairwoman & Owner, said:
“The backing that the Club has received… and indeed continues to receive from Hearts supporters is nothing short of incredible. A prime example of this is the £3 million contribution made by FoH pledgers to the Tynecastle Redevelopment Fund. I would like to say a huge thank you to every single FoH pledger for their contributions.
“We now have a magnificent new Main Stand at Tynecastle Park…something that quite simply would not have been possible in the timescales we have achieved without the constant backing of the Hearts supporters.
“We have come a long way since those dark days in 2014 and the way Hearts fans have rallied behind the Club is remarkable.
“We set out with the goal of making Hearts the biggest fan owned club within the UK and we are on course to achieve this within the next 2 years. How amazing is that!
“By continuing to pull together in this way over the coming years, there is no limit to what we can achieve.”