Signing news: Melbourne City snap up Austrian defender on two-year deal

Twenty-four hours after announcing the appointment of new head coach Erick Mombaerts, Melbourne City have continued building towards the 2019/20 Hyundai A-League Season by signing Austrian defender Richard Windbichler. 

The 28-year-old Windbichler, who has signed a two-year deal with City, began his career with Austrian Bundesliga clubs FC Admira Wacker and FK Austria, earning caps for Austrian age-group national sides from U-18 through to U-21.

He moved to South Korean powerhouse Ulsan Hyundai in January 2017 and while at the K-League 1 side, won the FA Cup and was named in the 2018 K-League 1 Team of the Year.

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Melbourne City sign Richard Windbichler
Richard Windbichler in Asian Champions League action against Melbourne Victory

The defender, who has been capped by Austria from U18 to U21 level, joins City from Danish First Division side Viborg FF, where he made five appearances during a short spell in 2019.  

“Richard joins Melbourne City having demonstrated an ability to perform at an exceptionally high level both in Europe and Asia,” Melbourne City's director of football Michael Petrillo said.

“Richard is an intelligent defender that is comfortable in possession and able to start attacking moves from the back."

'I fell in love with Melbourne'

Windbichler said: “I’m very excited [to be joining Melbourne City]. If it was up to me, I would be starting tomorrow.

“I like challenges and experiences. I spent the last two years in South Korea where we had a game in Melbourne [an AFC Champions League clash with Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park] and since the moment I set foot in this city I was in love.

I just want to be part of this Club and make my footprint.  

“I’m a centre back who likes to ask for the ball and play with the ball at my feet. I would say that the [attacking] build-up is one of my greatest strengths, as well as defensive one-on-ones. 

“Melbourne City is an ambitious club that wants to compete for trophies and that is my goal too. In the best-case scenario we become champions, which is only possible with the fans' support."

Windbichler will join up with the Melbourne City FC squad in early July as the team returns to CFA Melbourne to commence their pre-season schedule.