New Red McGowan says A-League better than SPL
The Reds have snapped up the Adelaide-born defender on a two-year contract.
McGowan, brother of World Cup Socceroo Ryan, put pen to paper on the deal after he arrived back in South Australia on Wednesday and completed a routine medical.
The defender, 22, comes to the Reds having spent the past six seasons contracted to the Hearts, where he made 64 senior appearances.
McGowan left Adelaide as a 17- year-old when he signed for the Edinburgh club in 2008, following his older brother to Scotland.
But he said the Reds revolution under coach Josep Gombau had him yearning for a return home.
“I enjoyed my time at Hearts and after spending six years away from home, I knew the time was right,” McGowan said.
“Being an Adelaide boy, I’ve always been an Adelaide fan so I paid close attention to the team.
“Last season I watched a lot of games where the coaching and playing staff were really exciting and bringing a new brand of football to the club, I just wanted to be a part of it.
“Gomabu’s style and philosophy that he brought in is widely praised and it’s one of the main reasons I signed. And the league as a whole is improving.
“It’s on par with Scotland and probably playing better football. So as soon as the opportunity arose, it was a pretty easy decision.”
It has been less than a settled period for the younger McGowan. In 2010 he was sent on loan to Scottish Second Division club East Fife.
On his return, the former youth international was awarded a new two-year contract, extending his stay until 2013. However, in June 2011, he went on a season long loan to the now defunct Gold Coast United.
In early-2013 he signed a one-year extension with Hearts but the club went into administration and he was recently released. By that stage his brother Ryan had already departed Hearts for Chinese outfit Shandong Luneng.
McGowan’s versatility means he can play full-back, centre-back and midfield – a quality that appealed to Gombau.
“He is a strong, athletic and young player with good experience in Europe and at an international level,” the coach said from Spain.
“I know he can help us in our back four as well as in midfield. He’s a well-rounded player, which isn’t always easy to find.
“We are also bringing back home a South Australian player, which follows our vision in having SA players playing for Adelaide United.”
McGowan will link up with his new teammates on June 16 when pre-season training kicks off.