Victory's Hoogland to return to Europe

German defender Tim Hoogland will return to Europe and won't complete the A-League season.
German defender Tim Hoogland will return to Europe and won't complete the A-League season.

Melbourne Victory defender Tim Hoogland is the latest A-League player to opt out of completing the season.

The centre-back did not travel with his teammates to the competition's NSW hub and will instead return to Germany.

Hoogland had previously made his reluctance to enter a hub clear, due to having his family with him in Melbourne.

"I would like to thank everyone at Melbourne Victory for the way they welcomed me and my family since we arrived," Hoogland said.

"This season has been challenging for so many reasons, and my family has supported me every step of the way.

"With the current environment in Melbourne and the league moving to Sydney, I have to put my family first."

Victory football operations manager Paul Trimboli said Hoogland had been the "ultimate professional" during his time at the club, despite injuries restricting him to just six A-League games, and wished him well.

Hoogland's departure follows those of Western United marquee Panagiotis Kone and Melbourne City winger Markel Susaeta, who opted to return to Europe rather than complete the season.

Perth Glory captain Diego Castro elected not to travel to NSW, considering the hub an "unacceptable health risk" for him and his family.

Former Victory captain Ola Toivonen returned to Sweden in June, signing with Malmo FF, while midfielder Jakob Poulsen retired in May.

Meanwhile, former caretaker coach Carlos Salvachua - who quit at the end of May to return to Europe - has linked up with Kevin Muscat at Belgian club Sint-Truiden.

Australian Associated Press