The 29-year old, who joined Scottish Premiership club Hearts as a teenager in 2007, is now set to make his A-League debut in Sky Blue on a two year deal with Sydney.

McGowan has played 321 career games, scoring nine goals, including one in the 2012 Scottish FA Cup Final which he won with Hearts.

The centre back also won the Chinese FA Cup Final with Shandong Luneng in 2014 where he was named MVP.

But the Adelaide-born defender has had mixed fortunes since, with a stint at Dundee United followed by short term spells at clubs across Asia before a return to the UK with Bradford City last year and a loan spell with United's rival, Dundee, earlier this year.

“I’m excited to be coming back to Australia and to be playing my first A-League football,” he said. “It’s a brilliant opportunity, especially to be joining the reigning A-League Champions.

“Sydney FC’s success in recent years speaks volumes about the type of club it is and I needed no convincing to sign.”

McGowan, who delivered the cross for Tim Cahill’s famous 2014 World Cup volley against Holland, will link-up with Sydney FC’s former Socceroo defender Alex Wilkinson.

“It will be great playing alongside Wilko again after our days with the Socceroos and at the World Cup in Brazil.

“I’m sure we will have no problem in quickly regaining our understanding.”

Coach Steve Corica said the experienced defender was an excellent signing for the club and adds a huge weight of talent and experience to the back four.

“At 29 Ryan is in the prime of his career and with so many high-level games under his belt, he is a huge asset to us,” he said.

“He reads the game well, can play out from the back and is physically very quick and strong. He is a great signing who will fit into our vastly experienced defensive line-up with ease.”

And McGowan can't wait to face off against his brother when the Sydney Derby kicks off...

“It’s going to be great to have my brother living in the same city once again,” said Ryan. “I’ve heard and seen so much about the Sydney Derbies over the years and I can’t wait to play in one.

“It will be extra special having Dylan play in the game as well.

“I’m also looking forward to getting another taste of AFC Champions League football again and performing well for the club in that.”