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By ESPN Staff

Vrankovic signs A-League deal with Heart

Melbourne Heart on Tuesday announced the signing of Young Socceroo central defender David Vrankovic for the next A-League season.

The 18-year-old inked a two-year deal to join John Aloisi's side and follows the arrivals of striker Dylan Macallister on a two-year deal, Croatian striker Josip Tadic, Patrick Gerhardt, Steven Gray, Golgol Mebrahtu and Andrew Redmayne.

Vrankovic recently featured for Paul Okon's Young Socceroos during the AFC Under 22 Championship qualifying tournament in Indonesia, starting in the 3-2 win over Macau to help secure Australia's place in Asia's premier under-age international competition.

Head coach John Aloisi feels the Heart will provide Vrankovic with the perfect opportunity to continue his development as an elite footballer.

"David is a young talented defender and we are certainly looking forward to working with him as he takes the next step in his football journey," he said.

"Our commitment to youth and offering a pathway for emerging players is proven and, in David, the club feels it has a player capable of making rapid development. He is mobile and comfortable on the ball, traits which are a prerequisite in the modern game.

"Under tutelage of our coaching staff, we are confident David will be provided with every chance to fulfil his potential and follow in the footsteps of Brendan Hamill and Curtis Good."

Vrankovic becomes the 18th member on the Heart roster for the 2012-13 season, as Aloisi prepares for his debut campaign as head coach.

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