Left-back Ben Garuccio has been announced as the second off-season signing for Western United.
The 26-year-old joins Western United after playing 21 games for Melbourne City last season.
Garuccio, who was born in Adelaide, said he was “really happy” to be joining Western United.
“This is a great club with strong ambitions and I can’t wait to get started,” Garuccio said.
“I’m looking forward to helping the club challenge for trophies and seeing where we can go.
“The club has a really passionate fanbase that is continuing to grow, and I’m excited to play in front of them and help the growth of this club.”
Western United’s newly appointed A-League head coach John Aloisi first signed Garuccio as a 17-year-old, providing him the opportunity to make his A-League debut for Melbourne Heart (now Melbourne City) nine years ago.
After his time at Melbourne Heart, Garuccio moved to Adelaide United and picked up three caps for Australia’s under-19’s side along the way.
Between 2018 and 2020, Garuccio played 21 games in the Scottish Premier League across two seasons with Hearts.
He scored his first goal for Hearts in a 5-0 win against Inverness Caledonian Thistle during July 2018, with a 25-yard free-kick.
Garuccio also played twice for the Olyroos before returning to Melbourne City last season.
Aloisi said he has known Garuccio since he was a teenager and that he was a player that he has always admired.
“He still possesses a lot of the qualities that I saw in him at that time – a well-rounded full-back with a good mix of defensive and attacking strengths,” Aloisi said.
“To bring him in to the club was something I wanted to do very quickly and seeing his growth in the last few years makes me excited about the role he can play in our team.”
Garuccio is Aloisi’s first signing as Western United boss, and he joins Dylan Wenzel-Halls as the second acquisition of the off-season ahead of the team’s return for pre-season training.