Done deal: Hearts sign Czech goalkeeper Zdenek Zlamal

Czech international goalkeeper Zdenek Zlamal has joined Hearts on a three-year contract.

Wednesday, 30th May 2018, 9:41 am
Updated Wednesday, 30th May 2018, 12:26 pm
Czech goalkeeper Zdenek Zlamal is in talks with Hearts

The 32-year-old leaves Czech club Fastav Zlin for free and is expected to replace Jon McLaughlin as Hearts' first-choice goalkeeper.

Zlamal is 6ft 4in tall and has enjoyed spells in Italy, Spain and Turkey during his career. He is the experienced No.1 Hearts manager Craig Levein wanted to replace McLaughlin - who is likely to leave Edinburgh on freedom of contract.

He was part of the travelling Sparta Prague squad which faced Hearts in the 2006 UEFA Cup and remembers the Edinburgh club's Czech former players Rudi Skacel, Roman Bednar and Michal Pospisil.

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"I was very young back then so I didn’t play, but it was my first UEFA Cup experience and I remember it very well," he told the club website. "I remember the Hearts fans and I kept thinking how great they were. I can’t explain how happy it makes me to have signed for this great club.

"It has long been my dream to play in British football and I am very excited to be joining Hearts. I want to use my experience to help the team here and I feel I have a lot to give.

"I also know that there have been a few Czech players at Hearts in the past. For example, I know that Rudi Skacel is a Hearts legend! I also remember Roman Bednar and Michal Pospisil playing here so hopefully I can also be a success."

Zlamal previously played for Italian clubs Udinese and Bari, plus Cadiz in Spain and Alanyaspor in Turkey. He has also represented a host of Czech sides including Sparta Prague and Slovan Liberec during his career. He gained his solitary senior international cap in 2009.

The keeper will report to Riccarton next month to begin pre-season training and is the seventh new arrival at Hearts ahead of next season. Ben Garuccio, Olly Lee, Jake Mulraney, Bobby Burns, Uche Ikpeazu and Steven MacLean have also signed.