Heart sign Worm

Melbourne Heart has signed its first international player, with the club confirming that 24-year-old Dutch youth international Rutger Worm will join the club in its inaugural season.

Melbourne Heart has signed its first international player, with the club confirming that 24-year-old Dutch youth international Rutger Worm will join the club in its inaugural season.

The winger joins the club from Dutch Eredivisie side NEC Nijmegen on a multi-year deal and is set to fill a key attacking role with the new club.

Head coach John van ‘t Schip said the signature of Worm is a sign of the commitment the club has to playing attacking football.

"I am extremely happy to be able to bring Rutger down under to Melbourne and the Hyundai A-League," he said. "He is a fantastic player who has shown a lot of ability during his time with NEC in the Eredivisie in Holland and really impressed me while I was with Ajax."

"Rutger will bring width to the team and provide a lot of drive down the wings which is critical for our tactical philosophy. He is a proven player at a high level and I think will continue his improvement by having an important role with Melbourne Heart."

Heart's GM of Football Operations John Didulica said the acquisition of a young player of Worm's quality is a very strong sign of the ambition of the club.

“What's important to us is that we were able to sign a young professional who has good experience at the elite level but has his best years in front of him. Because of his energetic style, Rutger has been used by NEC as an impact player in recent times but we really think the A-League will give him a great stage to emerge as a key performer," he said.

"Rutger is a traditional winger, which is a position that Australia has found difficult to produce in great numbers in recent times. We are hopeful that Rutger's pace, dribbling ability and technical quality will enable the club to play the exciting football that it wants to play."