The 31-year-old has joined the Hearts Under-18 squad for sessions to keep himself fit during Australia’s close season.
He is contracted to Sydney FC until summer 2021 and won the A-League title with the club in August. He is due to return to Australia next month.
McGowan is able to continue training with the Hearts youth players to maintain fitness whilst he finalises plans to head back Down Under.
He has been in Scotland with his family in recent weeks and is now preparing for the start of the new campaign.
The Hearts Under-18 coach John Rankin welcomed the player into his group in an arrangement which is expected to last until the end of October.
McGowan remains a hugely popular figure with the Edinburgh club’s supporters after playing in maroon between 2008 and 2013.
He came through the Riccarton youth academy as a teenager before breaking into the first team under former manager Stephen Frail.
He went on to earn legendary status as a goalscorer in Hearts’ 5-1 Scottish Cup final win against rivals Hibs in 2012.
Hearts sold McGowan to the Chinese club Shandong Luneng Taishan in January 2013 for a six-figure sum as financial problems took hold at Tynecastle Park.
He has since moved around the globe, playing for Dundee United, Henan Jianye and Guizhou Zhicheng in China, UAE side Al-Sharjah, plus Bradford City and Dundee before signing a two-year deal with Sydney in 2019.