'Job done' for former Hearts favourite McGowan as defender heads to Middle East after Australia recall

Former Hearts and Dundee United midfielder Ryan McGowan is on the move again after leaving Sydney FC in Australia for an unnamed ‘overseas club’.

Sunday, 4th July 2021, 3:54 pm
Ryan McGowan of Sydney FC reacts after the referee disallowed a goal by Bobo of Sydney FC during the A-League match between Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers at Sydney Cricket Ground, on May 23, 2021, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

The defender is expected to move to the Middle East after negotiating a move after two years in the A-League.

Returning to his homeland from Bradford and a loan spell at Dundee has been beneficial for the 31-year-old who helped Hearts to the 2012 Scottish Cup with the fourth goal at Hampden in the 5-1 rout of Hibs. Performances with the Sky Blues has earned a recall to the Socceroos squad ahead of next year’s World Cup in Qatar and he is also bound for a move to the middle east, Sydney FC have said.

Head Coach Steve Corica admitted the club tried to keep the ex-Hearts defender. “Ryan has done extremely well for us and we wanted him to stay,” he explained. “But he has an offer which will set his family up, so we understand his decision.

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Ryan McGowan enjoying Hearts' training. (Picture: SNS)

“We will miss him but we wish Ryan and his family all the very best with the move.”

The move back Down Under thrust him back into the spotlight with a Premiership and Championship win in 2020 which helped earn his national team recall – as was his intention.

“Coming back to Australia and playing and winning trophies for Sydney FC has been everything I hoped it would be,” McGowan said. “My aim was to win things and to get back in the Socceroos squad and I have achieved both.

“I can’t thank the club, our players and staff and most importantly our members enough for this opportunity and I’d love to come back one day.”

McGowan is best known for his time at Tynecastle and played 73 times over five years at Hearts, including the memorable 2012 Cup final. He has also had spells in China, UAE and recently with Bradford City, but also counts Dundee United, Ayr United, Dundee and Partick Thistle among his Scottish sides.

He scored on his A-league debut for Sydney – against the club of his birthplace Adelaide United - and the strike turned out to be his one and only in a two-year spell.

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