City sign veteran Sorensen

Former EPL goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen has put off retirement to sign a two-year deal with A-League club Melbourne City.

The 39-year-old Danish international fills City’s final visa spot and becomes the club’s ninth signing of the off-season.

The veteran gloveman, who played more than 350 matches in the English top-flight, was last seen cycling 4000 miles across the United States raising money for charity.

Sorensen joined Sunderland in 1998, where he made 171 appearances and was integral inthe club’s promotion to the English Premier League.

He made 139 appearances for Aston Villa before moving to newly promoted club Stoke City in 2008, where he helped the Potters consolidate their place in the EPL and established his reputation as a premier shot-stopper.

He arrives in Melbourne on Tuesday and will be handed the No. 1 jersey.

Melbourne City FC coach John van’t  Schip said Sorensen would bring a wealth of experience and further strengthen the squad’s professionalism.

“We’re very excited to welcome Thomas to Melbourne,” van’t Schip said.

“Having played all of his career at such an elite level, we are confident Thomas will approach his time at the Club with great ambition and determination.

“We also believe he will be an incredibly important figure for the development of our younger players and will act as the very finest mentor for all the goalkeepers in the club.”

Goalkeeper Tando Velaphi looks like being the loser from City’s latest acquisition despite putting in a  strong finish to the back end of last season.

Sorensen began his career with boyhood club Odense BK, with impressive form during loan spells at Velje and Svendborg earning comparisons to Danish goalkeeping legend Peter Schmeichel.

He made 101 international appearances for Denmark over  10 years and played in two UEFA European Championships and two World Cups.

Sorensen spent last week training in England at Manchester City FC’s City Football Academy.

“When this opportunity came up there was no hesitation because it’s an ambitious club,” Sorensen said.

“I think for the club and for me personally the aim is to get to the top – we obviously want to win a championship and a Cup and that’s one of the reasons why I wanted to come.

“Hopefully I can use my experience and help the club get where it wants to go; I’m here to do my utmost, I’m really looking forward to it; it’s a fantastic challenge.”