Hearts have announced the signing of defender Kye Rowles from Central Coast Mariners for an undisclosed fee.
The 23-year-old becomes the club’s second signing of the summer following the addition of Alan Forrest from Livingston.
Rowles joins a growing Australian contingent in the Hearts squad, linking up with compatriots Nathaniel Atkinson and Cammy Devlin at Tynecastle.
The centre-back began his career at Brisbane Roar before moving to Mariners in 2017, where he developed into a key player for the team.
Rowles played for Australia at every youth level before making his full debut against Jordan last week and earning a second cap in the World Cup play-off first leg win over UAE on Tuesday.
Hearts believe they’ve added a player with potential to grow at the club, as they look to build on last year’s thrid place Premiership finish, as well as play group stage football in Europe.
Manager Robbie Neilson said: “This is an exciting transfer for us and one that everyone has worked really hard to get over the line.
“Kye has a fantastic reputation over in Australia and his talent has seen him rise to the top of the game.
“To get another international player in the door is a big coup and I’m really looking forward to working with him. Hearts is the perfect place for Kye to continue his development and I believe he is someone who can help improve the team.”
Sporting Director Joe Savage said: “We’ve obviously had success in the Australian market so having identified Kye as a target it was a no brainer to try and bring him to the club.
“He’s clearly a very talented player and he has the potential to get even better, and I think we’ve all seen that Hearts can provide an environment for players to flourish, which is why Kye has chosen us as the best place to continue his career despite late attempts from other Scottish clubs to get involved.
“Kye fits the profile of player we want to attract to this club and I’ve no doubt the fans will take to him, like they have with Cammy Devlin and Nat Atkinson, once he pulls on that maroon jersey.
“These types of transfers require a lot of work so I have to thank everyone involved for all of their their efforts, and it’s full steam ahead in terms of building a squad capable of making a mark in both domestic and European football this season.”