Soccer: Perth Glory sign defender Tomislav Mrcela

Perth Glory manager Tony Popovic.
Perth Glory manager Tony Popovic.

PERTH Glory has signed centre back Tomislav Mrcela from South Korean side Jeonnam Dragons.

The Perth-born, 195cm defender has signed a two-year deal.

The 27-year-old made the move to Croatia with his family in 1996 before joining the RNK Split Academy side in 2001.

The West Australian would go on to spend eight years in Split, making the transition to first team football in the Croatian lower leagues.

Following a season each at Imotski (loan), Mosor, Hrvatski Dragovoljac and two seasons with Zagreb-based side Lokomotiva, where he gained Europa League experience, Mrcela then decided it was time for a change in 2016 as he signed for K-League outfit Jeonnam Dragons.

Mrcela has been on the cusp of a Socceroos debut since gaining his first call-up to the squad in 2015 by Ange Postecoglou.

He said he was excited to be back in Perth and was quick to emphasise the influence of Tony Popovic in bringing him to the club.

“I’m a defender and Popovic was a world class defender in his day,” Mrcela said.

“He was in the Socceroos and in the Premier League, so I can learn a lot from him.

“Popovic is a winner, we all know that, and I want to win things for this club and that’s why I’m here, for that challenge.”