Glory swoop for gifted Hearts midfielder

Perth Glory is delighted to confirm that Irish midfielder Aaron McEneff has signed for the club, subject to visa and international clearance.

An undisclosed fee was agreed by Glory to secure the services of the 27-year-old who was under contract with Scottish Premiership side, Heart of Midlothian.

Check out the new recruit in action HERE.

A former Tottenham Hotspur Under-18 and Under-21 player, McEneff starred in the League of Ireland for both his hometown club Derry City and Shamrock Rovers, before earning a $350,000 move to Hearts in 2021.

He helped the Edinburgh club clinch the Scottish Championship title later that year and went on to make a total of 22 appearances last season, when he also featured in the Scottish Cup Final.

McEneff is now looking forward to opening a new chapter in his career with Glory.

“It’s an opportunity that kind of came up out of the blue and it’s one which really excited myself and my family,” he said.

“For me personally, it’s a massive opportunity to come to Australia, put the purple kit on and play for a club which is showing real ambition to get back to where they want to be in terms of winning trophies and competing at the top end of the table.

“From speaking to [Head of Recruitment] Andy Keogh, [Head Coach] Ruben Zadkovich and my agent, I got a really good feeling about what the club wants to do and where they want to go and I really want to be a part of it.

“The way Ruben explained to me how he wants his team to play and go about things as a manager fits into the way I play and from speaking to him, he sounds really ambitious.

“The biggest thing I took from the conversation with him was that he’s a winner and he wants to win football matches.

“I’ve won trophies myself in the past and I want to continue to do so.

“So coming out to Perth, with the club going in that direction and showing that ambition, it’s something that I want to be a part of.”

Zadkovich is confident that McEneff will prove to be a major asset to the club.

“Aaron is a wonderful addition to our squad,” he said.

“He’s had a top footballing education throughout his career and has been honing his craft at some very strong football clubs.

“He is very gifted technically, but also possesses very strong physical attributes that make him a great fit for us.”

Keogh is similarly thrilled to have the midfielder on board.

“We have worked long and hard to make this deal happen with Hearts,” he said, “and a big thank you must go to Joe Savage, Hearts’ Sporting Director, for making this happen.

“Aaron is a fantastic addition to this famous club.

“His mobility and technique will add another dimension to our midfield and he’s a great character who leads by example.

“We can’t wait for him and his family’s arrival in our beautiful State.”

Born in Derry, McEneff was snapped up by Tottenham as a teenager and earned his first professional deal while playing for the Premier League club’s Under-18 and Under-21 sides.

He duly returned home to sign for Derry City where he would go on to make over 100 League of Ireland appearances, score 25 goals and secure a League of Ireland Cup winner’s medal.

The dynamic midfielder enjoyed similar success at fellow-League of Ireland side Shamrock Rovers whom he joined in 2019, playing a key role in their 2020 league title triumph and lining up against AC Milan in the Europa League.

His stellar form for Rovers secured the former Northern Ireland Under-17 and Under-19 representative a two-and-a-half-year deal with Hearts in February 2020 and he featured regularly as they clinched the Scottish Championship title and a return to the top-flight.

Glory’s new signing built on that encouraging start to his time at Tynecastle by making 22 appearances in all competitions and scoring three goals last season as Hearts secured an impressive third-place league finish and reached the Scottish Cup Final.

At international level, meanwhile, McEneff was included in the Republic of Ireland senior squad as recently as November 2020.

Further signing announcements will be made shortly.