Sydney FC snare Pascal Bosschaart

Two-time Hyundai A-League Champions Sydney FC today signed Dutchman Pascal Bosschaart – a powerful central defender boasting over 350 appearances in Holland’s premier football league – for the 2011/12 season.

Two-time Hyundai A-League Champions Sydney FC today signed Dutchman Pascal Bosschaart - a powerful central defender boasting over 350 appearances in Holland-s premier football league - for the 2011/12 season.

The highly regarded Bosschaart has spent his entire playing career in the Dutch Eridivisie, debuting for giants Utrecht as a 17-year-old in 1997 where he amassed 194 appearances in seven years before linking with Feyenoord (53 appearances) and then going on to captain ADO Den Haag (103 appearances).

His signing sees the Sky Blues further strengthen their defensive line-up which also includes former Socceroos Michael Beauchamp and Scott Jamieson, the versatile Jamie Coyne and Young Socceroo Sebastian Ryall.

Bosschaart will move to Sydney with his wife Veltman and two young daughters Esra (5) and Manou (2) within the next month before commencing training with his new teammates.

“I am very excited about signing with Sydney FC and playing outside of Holland for the very first time,” Bosschaart said.

“I have heard many good things about the club and I am looking forward to having a big year for the team and the fans. I have heard the fans are very passionate and support the team strongly which is a great thing to know.

“My family and I cannot wait to move to Sydney to experience one of the world-s great cities. Personally, I am looking forward to interacting with the Sydney football family and learning more about the game in Australia.”

Sydney FC Chief Executive Officer Dirk Melton said the signature of Bosschaart was an excellent result for the club both on and off the field.

“The interview and recruitment process with Pascal was an absolute pleasure. He has exhibited the values that will be important to the growth of our club,” Melton said. “He has already expressed his strong desire to be involved with the clubs community program.”

“Pascal comes to Sydney FC after playing 15 consecutive years at the highest level in Holland and with some of the biggest clubs in football including captain of ADO Den Haag which will further enhance the leadership skills of the playing group. “Of the 20 contracted players for the upcoming season and we believe we are getting the right mix of experience and youth.”

Sydney FC coach Vitezslav Lavicka said Bosschaart would quickly assume a key role for the team both with his play and his leadership qualities.

“He is a proven player at the highest of levels in Europe. This is big news for us to sign someone of Pascals- reputation and standing in football,” Lavicka said.

“We were searching for a key central defender and Pascal is that player. We also know that he often has played as a holding midfielder so he can give the team other options if we need.

“I am very excited about Pascal and what he will bring to the team and the club. I am sure our fans will feel the same way.”

Sydney FC opens its 2011/12 campaign with an away fixture against arch rivals Melbourne Victory on Saturday 7 October at Etihad Stadium before its first home game of the season - against defending champions Brisbane Roar on Saturday 15 October at the Sydney Football Stadium (7:45pm kick-off).

Pascal Bosschaart: DOB: February 28, 1980 Height: 183cm Playing career: Utrecht: 1997 - 2004 (194 appearances) Feyenoord: 2004 - 2006 (53 appearances) ADO Den Haag: 2006 - current (103 appearances)