Perth Glory defender Shane Lowry will join Qatari club Al Ahil Sports Club in the latest blow to the Premiers' backline, the A-League side confirmed tonight.
The Qatari Stars League side has swooped for Lowry with a lucrative offer to seal the deal.
A club statement tonight confirmed FTBL's exclusive and added: "Glory will receive an undisclosed transfer fee for the 30-year-old who made 71 Hyundai A-League appearances in purple after arriving in 2015 and skippered the side on numerous occasions."
Glory Football Director Jacob Burns admitted the timing was "not ideal" but said he believes that such moves are an inevitable consequence of the club’s success last season.
“Winning the A-League Premiership put all of our players firmly in the shop window as far as Asia’s biggest and wealthiest clubs are concerned,” he said.
“As a result, moves such as Shane’s are to be expected, but we have plans in place to cover these eventualities and ensure that we maintain a strong, deep squad capable of securing sustained success for this football club.
“We would like to thank Shane for his outstanding service and commitment over the past four years and wish him all the best in the next stage of his career.”
Lowry thank fans for their support.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy a great relationship with the Glory members and fans ever since I arrived,” he said, “and I would like to say a huge thank you to them.
“Playing for my hometown club has meant a massive amount to me and I have loved every minute of it.
“I would like to take this opportunity to wish the team all the very best for the upcoming season.”
The centre back had been with Glory since 2016 when he returned to his hometown club after 11 years playing in the UK.
Lowry had spells with Aston Villa, Leeds United, Sheffield United, Millwall, Leyton Orient and Birmingham City while in England.
The Australian made more than 60 appearances in the A-League for Perth.
Last season the 30-year-old was a constant in the Glory side, playing 26 games, as he helped the Glory win the Premier's Plate and reach the grand final.
His departure, which was preceded by Jason Davidson's exit to Korea and Andy Keogh's move to Saudi Arabia, with doubts hanging over Matthew Spiranovic's future, is another hit for to the A-League club.
Al Ahil finished fifth in the Qatari league last season and are managed by Spanish coach Rubén de la Barrera.