Melbourne Heart has signed Dutchman Gerald Sibon from Eredivisie side Heerenveen.
The former Ajax and PSV striker joins Heart following a stellar 12-month period in the Eredivisie, which has seen the striker score 15 times in 27 starts, including three goals during Heerenveen’s 2009/10 Europa League campaign and strikes home and away against PSV.
Head Coach John van ‘t Schip is delighted to have signed Sibon and is convinced the target man, who stands just short of two metres tall, will be an influential figure within the A-League.
“The coaching staff has spent the last seven months watching matches in Australia, Europe, Asia and South America to find the striker that has the skills and the mentality to fit into our team and the A-League. I am very confident Gerald is that player," van't Schip said.
“Gerald is physically strong, but his real strength is with the ball at his feet and bringing his team-mates into the match.
"He has been in excellent form with Heerenveen this season, particularly in the second half of the season, so hopefully he will be able to maintain that level of performance with us.”
Van ‘t Schip believes Sibon will also play a crucial role in mentoring the up to seven younger members of the Heart side, including 18-year-old AIS graduate Eli Babalj.
He said: “Gerald is a top professional and a winner. He has obtained experience in some of the best and toughest competitions in world football such as the UEFA Champions League.
“The lessons he can provide to the younger members of our team at training and during the match will prove very important in helping to shape the Club’s culture for many years to come.”
Having played in England’s Premier League and the German Bundesliga, Sibon arrives in Melbourne boasting an impressive resume at the elite level.
Sibon was an over-23 member of the Netherlands Olympic Football Team during the 2008 Beijing Games, scoring twice in four starts alongside Roy Makaay and Ryan Babel as the Oranje were knocked out at the Quarter Finals, while he has also collected a swag of honours at domestic level.
Sibon has secured five Dutch Cup winners medals, including the 2009 title, three Eredivisie championships and the 2007 German Pokal Cup with FC Nurnberg, where he was a team mate of fellow Heart players Michael Beauchamp and Dean Heffernan.
Become a fan of Goal.com International on Facebook! Just click onto Facebook.com/Goal to join the beautiful game's leading fan community...