New Hearts signing Oliver Bozanic is hoping to follow in the footsteps of his fellow Australians in Scottish football.
Bozanic was announced earlier this week as manager Craig Levein’s ninth transfer of a busy summer window – it has since gone up to 10 with the arrival of Peter Haring – after signing a two-year deal.
The central midfielder joined on a free transfer from Melbourne City and is the third Australian to link up with the Jambos ahead of next season after Ryan Edwards and Ben Garuccio.
Although he has been capped seven times by his country and appeared at the 2014 World Cup, Bozanic has not played for the Socceroos for three years and is hoping to replicate the achievements of Celtic’s Tom Rogic, who has forced his way into the national set-up and played in the 1-1 draw against Denmark on Thursday.
“Those boys have done tremendously well here in Scotland,” he said of Rogic and Jamie Maclaren, who also impressed in a loan spell with Hibernian last season.
“Credit to them they are back in the national team and hopefully that can be a progression for me as well.”
Australia are clinging on to their World Cup hopes in Russia after claiming just a point from their opening two games.
They face Peru on Tuesday and Bozanic still has hope after an encouraging display against the Danes.
“Fingers crossed,” he said. “They had a great performance as a team yesterday and now it’s all coming down to the last game which is very exciting.”
Hearts’ activity in the transfer market so far this summer suggests a change in direction under Levein, who only took over last August.
There has been a setback however in the pursuit of David Milinkovic after his impressive loan spell last season, with the club pulling out of an agreed deal with Genoa having failed to agree terms with the player.
Levein and chairwoman Ann Budge have made no secret of their desire to push for silverware next season and European qualification, and that ambition is something that resonates with Bozanic.
He said: “There are a few signings and the club is so ambitious and that is part of the reason I wanted to be here.
“There is a strong desire to be right up there and hopefully this season we can challenge for some top places.
“Around this club there are expectations and we hope we can be right up there.”