Czech goalkeeper Zdenek Zlamal wants to emulate the success of compatriots Rudi Skacel, Roman Bednar and Michal Pospisil after joining Hearts.
The 32-year-old signed a three-year contract with the Edinburgh club after leaving the Czech side Fastav Zlin for free. He is expected to become first choice, with Jon McLaughlin due to leave Tynecastle this summer on freedom of contract.
The 6ft 4in tall keeper previously played for Italian clubs Udinese and Bari, plus Cadiz in Spain and Alanyaspor in Turkey. He has also represented a host of Czech sides including Sparta Prague and Slovan Liberec during his career. He gained his solitary senior international cap in 2009.
Zlamal was part of the Sparta Prague squad which faced Hearts in the 2006 Uefa Cup and remembers the Edinburgh club’s Czech former players Skacel, Bednar and Pospisil.
“I was very young back then so I didn’t play, but it was my first Uefa Cup experience and I remember it very well,” he told the club website.
“I remember the Hearts fans and I kept thinking how great they were. I can’t explain how happy it makes me to have signed for this great club.
“It has long been my dream to play in British football and I am very excited to be joining Hearts. I want to use my experience to help the team here and I feel I have a lot to give.
“I also know that there have been a few Czech players at Hearts in the past. For example, I know that Rudi Skacel is a Hearts legend. I also remember Roman Bednar and Michal Pospisil playing here, so hopefully I can also be a success.”
The keeper will report to Riccarton next month to begin pre-season training. He is the seventh new arrival at Hearts ahead of the new campaign after Ben Garuccio, Olly Lee, Jake Mulraney, Bobby Burns, Uche Ikpeazu and Steven MacLean also signed.