Western Melbourne Group have made their first Australian signing, the new A-League club luring Socceroos defender Josh Risdon away from Western Sydney.
The news comes amid reports the club is set to announce on Wednesday that it will be known as Western United and play in a predominantly green and black strip in its inaugural A-League season, starting in October.
Risdon has signed a two-year deal following last week's announcement that Greek international Panagiotis Kone would be the club's first marquee player.
"I'm absolutely stoked to be the first Australian player to join Western Melbourne," Risdon said via a statement on Tuesday.
"With the signing of Panagiotis as the marquee, I can see the club has big ambitions both on the park and off it.
"With their own boutique stadium being built, which I think is a great idea, the club has an exciting future.
"I'm a hard worker who understands that the fans in the west of Melbourne want players who'll give absolutely 100 per cent for the shirt.
"I can't wait to start doing that."
Risdon was part of the Socceroos' 2019 Asian Cup squad and the 2018 World Cup campaign in Russia.
The 26-year-old has extensive experience in the A-League in seven seasons with Perth Glory and leaves the Wanderers after just one season.
"We're absolutely thrilled to bring Josh into the Western Melbourne family and we look to him being a leader and mentor to some of the younger players that will be joining the squad," the group's football director Steve Horvat said.
"Attracting a talented current Socceroo shows our ambition and our commitment to building a competitive squad from the first season that our fans can be proud of."
The A-League's 11th club will ultimately call a purpose-built stadium in Tarneit home, but will likely play their first two seasons at Geelong's Kardinia Park.
Australian Associated Press