Hoffman, Velaphi commit to Heart

Melbourne Heart have re-signed Jason Hoffman and Tando Velaphi as the club prepares for next season under new owners Manchester City.

Defender and inaugural Heart player Hoffman has been rewarded for an impressive 2013-14 campaign with a two-year contract extension.

The deal means the 25-year-old, who has successfully converted from a midfielder to right-back, will be at the A-League outfit until the end of the 2015-16 season.

Hoffman said: “I’m delighted to continue my career at the club that I have been part of from day one. I have a genuine passion for Heart, having spent four great years here already.

“From a personal perspective I am delighted with my progress and am looking forward to developing further as an individual and as a team in what promises to be an exciting new season ahead.

“Right now though, my sights are firmly focussed on the remainder of this campaign and on my ambition to help the team achieve positive results in our final three matches.”

Hoffman has made 63 appearances for the expansion club since being signed in 2010, including 19 starts this season where he has been a consistent defensive presence.

Meanwhile goalkeeper Tando Velaphi has signed on for an additional season, joining as cover for first-choice custodian Andrew Redmayne.

“To be part of this club next season is exciting,” 26-year-old said.

“The players and staff have been very supportive and I’m eager to continue my career here at Heart.”

After a horror start to the season the club enjoyed an impressive turnaround under returning coach John van ‘t Schip who was recently rewarded with a three-year deal to continue the transformation.

Van ’t Schip said both players would be great assets next season.

“Jason has been one of our standout players and consistent performers this season and has demonstrated his versatility in converting from a midfielder to a right-back,” van ’t Schip said.

“(He) has been with us since day one and he has been an important part of our team, while Tando is an excellent goalkeeper, a true professional and the type of person we want at our club.

“Tando has been fantastic in training and he has great chemistry with Andrew, with both goalkeepers helping to develop each other.”

Hoffman and Velaphi join in-form striker David Williams, who signed a two-year deal with the club last week.