Melbourne Heart have confirmed the signature of Harry Kewell for the 2013/14 Hyundai A-League season.
The transfer has been the subject of rumour and debate of the past two weeks, and today Heart coach John Aloisi was able to confirm the capture of his former Socceroos teammate.
“I have been in regular contact with Harry over the past few months and have been so struck and impressed by his hunger,” Aloisi said.
“He has always been a wonderful professional and a winner and, in spending time with him, nothing has changed.
“I watched Harry’s progress in the Middle East very closely and it’s clear that physically he is in great condition so we are confident that, with a big pre-season, he will be flying by round one.
“It’s impossible to argue against the football quality and international experience that Harry will bring to our team and to the Hyundai A-League.
“With the right support, there is absolutely no reason why Harry cannot make a substantial contribution toward the team’s success this season.”
Kewell said he had wanted to return to the A-League after his season-long stint with cross-twon rivals Victory, and that Aloisi played a key role in his decision.
“It’s always been my intention to come back and play in the A-League,” Kewell said.
“John Aloisi and I have known each other a long time and we have played together, so I’m thrilled to be part of Melbourne Heart at an exciting time.”
It is believed Kewell will be joining the club on what is essentially a minimum wage deal, and Heart CEO Scott Munn revealed he won't be signing on as Heart's marquee.
“Harry is not coming to the club as a marquee player - and will be within the salary cup - but as a player with a lot to prove and some unfinished business," Munn said.
“He is very keen to work with John Aloisi and achieve success alongside him; he absolutely loves the city of Melbourne and, significantly, he has a desire to work closely to develop our younger players."
Kewell will wear his usual No.10 jersey for the red-and white.