Central Coast Mariners have secured experienced Eredivisie midfielder, Tom Hiariej, on a two-year deal pending a medical.
A former youth international, Hiariej is set to arrive in Gosford from FC Groningen after 10 years with the topflight outfit.
The 28-year-old is a one club man, starting in Groningen's youth academy before making his senior debut in September 2007.
Apart from two short loan stints with FC Emmen and SC Cambuur he has played exclusively for the Green and White.
He scored his first senior goal for the club against NEC Nijmegen in 2008 and has more than 200 competitive appearances under his belt.
The right-back turned central midfielder will inject some much needed experience into the Mariners young squad following the retirement of captain Nick Montgomery.
This is not the first time the A-League outfit has tried to lure the versatile player to Gosford.
During a scouting trip to Europe, coach Paul Okon, watched Hiariej play against PSV Eindhoven before meeting with him and discussing the opportunity to make the switch.
“We were actually looking at Tom in the January transfer window and were very close to signing him,” Okon said.
“At the time, Groningen decided that they wouldn’t release him which was disappointing for us because we thought he really would have added value at that time of the season.
"(But) we’ve kept dialogue since and followed him throughout the remainder of the season.
“He’s a ball playing midfielder, he’s very good in tight areas and his work rate is very high so he ticks the boxes in terms of what we were looking for, so now it’s a question of him adapting and settling in which I don’t think will be a problem. He will be here from the start of pre-season and will have plenty of time."
Okon said it was important that Hiariej took on a leadership role within the squad.
"He was receptive of that and really wanted that responsibility which is important because we lose our captain who gave us that experience," Okon added..
“Without putting too much pressure on Tom, they are certainly big boots to fill in terms of being a leader in that midfield and he’s happy to assume that responsibility.
“Nowadays it’s rare to find players who have played at one club and that again shows that Tom is a loyal person and after meeting with him and talking to him I could tell straight away that he will fit straight in to the Central Coast Mariners."
Hiariej, of Dutch and Indonesian heritage, represented the Netherlands in the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Championship when they placed third.
After a decade with Groningen, Hiariej said he was looking forward to a new challenge.
"I have played ...at the highest level in Holland so hopefully I can use that experience to help the younger players in the squad develop and become better players," he said.
“I’ve seen photos of Central Coast Stadium and it is amazing.
“After speaking with the coach, I know the Mariners are a community club, it’s like a big family which was great to hear because Groningen, my old club, is also a community club."
Hiariej is expected to arrive on the Central Coast for day one of pre-season later in June where he will complete his medical at the Central Coast Mariners Centre of Excellence.