BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
HEARTS’ latest recruit Ben Garuccio insists rave reviews from former Tynecastle favourites Patrick Kisnorbo and Dylan McGowan sold him on a switch to the Jambos.
22-year-old left-back has penned a three-year deal with the capital club after departing A-League outfit Adelaide United.
Garuccio, an Australian under-23 internationalist played alongside McGowan at Adelaide, while he also picked the brains of Kisnorbo, who was signed to Hearts by Craig Levein in 2005 before following the boss to Leicester City.
Garuccio said: “I’ve got quite a few friends that have played in Scotland so I was able to get a lot of advice. A few of them have played at Hearts and under Craig Levein, so that was a huge help.
“I spoke to guys like Patrick Kisnorbo and Dylan McGowan and it was really good to get the views of Aussie boys who have played for Hearts in the past. They only had good things to say about the club.
“It’s an amazing opportunity for me to join such a big club and I can’t wait to get over to Edinburgh and get started.”
Garuccio, who started his senior career at Melbourne City, becomes Hearts sixth signing as Levein moves to swiftly rebuild his squad for a European push next season, joining Steven MacLean, Uche Ikpeazu, Bobby Burns, Olly Lee and Jake Mulraney.
He told heartsfc.co.uk: “I’ve been impressed with everything I’ve seen so far. Craig showed me around and just right from the word go I had a really good feeling about the club.
“It’s always nice when a manager takes the time to find out all about you and makes you feel wanted. Being able to communicate with him and understand exactly what he wants from me has been great and I’ve got a really good feeling.
“I absolutely loved Edinburgh, the training ground is of a high standard and the stadium is unbelievable. I can’t wait to play my first game there.”
It is understood Hearts remain interested in securing the signing of Manchester United full-back Demi Mitchell on loan next term despite the capture of Garuccio.
Mitchell, 21, impressed during his six-month stint at Tynecastle, making 11 appearances and winning United’s Reserve Team player of the year award for his progress. However, his future is unlikely to be resolved until Jose Mourinho’s side report for duty in pre-season.