Sydney FC have added some much needed cover to their central defensive stocks by signing Socceroo Ryan McGowan, in a move that will add some crosstown sibling rivalry to the A-League.
With Aaron Calver and Jacob Tratt leaving, Jop van der Linden released and Ben Warland likely to miss most of next season with an ACL injury, Alex Wilkinson was the only fit specialist centre back on the Sky Blues' roster.
Capped 20 times by the Socceroos between 2012 and 17, McGowan has the chance to resume the central defensive partnership with Wilkinson they had at the 2014 World Cup.
McGowan played in all three of Australia's games in that tournament, coming off the bench against Chile and starting against the Netherlands and Spain.
"I'm sure we will have no problem in quickly regaining our understanding." said McGowan, who has signed a two-year deal.
'It's a brilliant opportunity, especially to be joining the reigning A-League Champions. Sydney FC's success in recent years speaks volumes about the type of club it is and I needed no convincing."
Since 2008, McGowan has amassed over 300 games playing for five clubs in Scotland, three in China and one each in England and the United Arab Emirates.
"At 29 Ryan is in the prime of his career and with so many high-level games under his belt, he is a huge asset to us," Sydney coach Steve Corica said.
"He reads the game well, can play out from the back and is physically very quick and strong."
McGowan's younger brother and fellow central defender Dylan signed for Western Sydney Wanderers two weeks ago.
"I've heard and seen so much about the Sydney derbies over the years and I can't wait to play in one, it will be extra special having Dylan play in the game as well,'" McGowan said.
Ryan McGowan has won domestic cup medals with Scottish club Hearts and China's Shandong Luneng.
He scored in the final in Scotland and was MVP in the game in China.
Australian Associated Press