Melbourne Victory have re-signed a trusted lieutenant and one of Robbie Kruse's old teammates as Marco Kurz's squad begins to take shape for the A-League season ahead.
Defender James Donachie turned down a return to South Korean football, signing a new one-year deal to stay at Victory after spending most of last campaign on loan in Melbourne.
German utility Tim Hoogland has also inked a one-year deal, with links to Victory through both Kruse and Kurz.
Kruse and Hoogland were teammates at second-tier club Bochum for the past two seasons, with countryman Kurz no stranger to the 34-year-old given his coaching history in his homeland.
Hoogland can play at centre back, on the right side of defence and in midfield, but Kurz appears set to use him as a stopper.
"Tim is a solid and fast centre-back and James is a player with great quality and respect here at Victory," said Kurz.
"Both players will strengthen our defensive unit and provide valuable insights for our younger players to learn from, and also great support for our more established players.
"The squad is starting to take shape, and we still have more new players to sign before the season begins in a couple of months, so it's an exciting position to be in."
Hoogland said he was excited by the challenge of playing in a new environment.
"I've heard great things about the club and about the A-League, and with Robbie and Marco there too, I will definitely feel at home," he said.
"I can't wait to meet my new teammates and start training."
The signings leave midfield as the Victory's clear priority for the remainder of the transfer window.
The off-season departures of captain Carl Valeri, marquee Keisuke Honda, Terry Antonis and Raul Baena leaves Kurz desperately short of quality and experience in the middle.
That much was made plain in their home FFA Cup defeat to Newcastle last week.
Kurz has offset the departure of star forward Kosta Barbarouses with Socceroos Kruse and Andrew Nabbout.
Nabbout scored a brace in Victory's 3-2 loss.
Australian Associated Press