Sydney FC sign Dutch defender from Eredivisie

Hyundai A-League Premiers Sydney FC have agreed terms to sign Dutch centre-back Jop van der Linden from Eredivisie club AZ Alkmaar on a one-year deal.

The experienced defender will become the third new addition under Steve Corica subject to the completion of a medical.

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The 28-year old joins the Sky Blues after spending nearly a decade playing in the Netherlands' top two tiers.

"I'm delighted to be coming to the Hyundai A-League and to be joining Australia's most recognisable club," said the 6ft 2in van der Linden.

"This is an exciting new challenge for me and I'm thrilled to be coming to Sydney FC.

"I know all about the success the club has had in recent seasons and everyone I've spoken to has made it clear the intention is to continue that success.

"Sydney FC has a reputation in Holland as Australia's number one club and I want to be able to honour that with my performances here."

Having started his career at Vitesse Arnhem, van der Linden joined Helmond Sport in 2010 where he twice helped the club to third place in the Eerste Divisie, both times narrowly missing out on promotion to the top flight.

Jop van der Linden
Van der Linden featured in the Europa League for AZ.

Promotion came with a move to Go Ahead Eagles in 2012 and he made 63 appearances over the next two seasons in the Eredivisie before winning a move to two-time Dutch champions AZ Alkmaar ahead of the 2015-16 season.

In 2017-18, van der Linden was loaned to fellow top-flight outfit Willem II, where he played 18 times.

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The left-footer is no stranger to finding the back of the net having notched 20 goals in his 205 career games.

 "Jop is an excellent centre-half, we've watched him and had good reports about his ability and character, so I am very happy to have him on board," Sydney FC boss Corica said. 

"He will fit into our squad and club culture easily and will give us another dimension in the back four.

"He is strong and quick, good in the air and reads the game exceptionally well, so I think he will be an enormous asset to us this season."

Van der Linden is set to arrive in Sydney early next week to complete his signing.