Hearts complete signing of Polish player Rafal Grzelak

Hearts have completed the signing of versatile Polish player Rafal Grzelak as Ian Cathro prepares to gather his squad for pre-season tomorrow.

Thursday, 15th June 2017, 5:43 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st June 2017, 3:21 pm
Rafal Grzelak has signed a two-year deal with Hearts. Pic: Heart of Midlothian FC

Grzelak, 28, has signed a two-year deal after leaving the Polish Ekstraklasa club Korona Kielce at the end of his contract.

He will begin his career in Scotland by reporting to Riccarton with the rest of the Hearts squad tomorrow morning.

Grzelak can play left-back and in midfield and will bring useful experience to the Edinburgh club. He can also operate in central defence, which may be of interest to Cathro if he employs a back three next season.

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Standing 6ft 1ins tall, Grzelak is known for his strength, passing range and technical ability. He spent the last two years at Korona Kielce and previously played for Wisla Plock, Dolcan Zabci and Podbeskidzie Bielsko-Biała in his homeland.

Hearts have already signed Scotland defender Christophe Berra and Tranmere Rovers forward Cole Stockton ahead of next season. They are also still keen to negotiate a loan deal for the Manchester City left-back Ashley Smith-Brown.

Grzelak’s arrival is slightly lower profile but Hearts coaching staff are confident he could make an impact in the Ladbrokes Premiership next season.

Grzelak told the Hearts website: “For me, it’s important that this club will be my home and I’m really excited to be here. I’ve had a really good impression from everybody that I’ve met here so far, and I’ve been told that the fans are fantastic.

“I always say that I play for the fans. When I hear the noise and cheering from the supporters, it motivates me. I am really looking forward to playing at Tynecastle in front of the Hearts fans.

“I’ve always wanted to go and play in another country, but I didn’t want to go abroad just for the sake of it.

“I wanted to go and play for a good club. When I knew that I could come here then I was very happy.

“I am very happy to be here because it is a very good club. It’s a club that has big ambitions.

“I can’t wait for the start of the season.”