Marco Kurz has made Caltex Socceroos winger Robbie Kruse his first signing as Melbourne Victory coach.
The 30-year-old has signed a two-year deal with the four-time Hyundai A-League Champions after his two-season stint with 2. Bundesliga outfit VfL Bochum came to an end in June.
“I’m excited to return home after eight years playing overseas. It was an incredible experience, but to have the opportunity to come back to the A-League and represent Victory again is really special,” Kruse told Victory's official website.
“I have great memories playing with Victory and of the club as whole; it helped me set expectations of myself as a player and ground me professionally.
“During our discussions, I’ve been impressed with Marco Kurz’s vision for the team and look forward to joining my teammates, many new and a couple I already know.”
After bursting onto the domestic scene with Brisbane Roar in 2007, Kruse played two seasons with Victory between 2009-2011, winning the club's Young Player of the Year award in both campaigns.
His form in Melbourne catapulted Kruse into Europe in 2011 with Fortuna Dusseldorf of Germany, where he would also play for Bayer Leverkusen and VfB Stuttgart in the Bundesliga.
Kruse also had a short stint for Chinese club Liaoning Whowin in 2017 before joining Bochum in July of that year.
The Brisbane-born winger has featured 75 times for the Caltex Socceroos since making his international debut against UAE in 2011.
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Following the departures of Keisuke Honda, Kosta Barbarouses and Carl Valeri at the end of last season, the attacker's return is a big plus for the Victorians.
Kruse’s versatility, speed and eye for goal should prove a valuable skillset for Kurz as he reshapes the club in his image.
“Securing Robbie’s services for the next two years is a big win for the club,” said Kurz.\
“We see in Robbie a player not only with great experience here in Australia and overseas, but also someone that fits the culture of the club, something which will be very good for this team.
“We look forward to him joining us this week.”
Kruse, who will arrive in Melbourne this week, could make his Victory debut when the Navy and Blue host Newcastle Jets in an FFA Cup 2019 Round of 32 clash at AAMI Park on Wednesday, August 7 (kick-off at 7.30pm AEST).
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