Cambodian football starlet Chan Vathanaka is hoping his move to Japan will help catapault his club and international career to the next level after completing a move to J3 League side Fujieda MYFC in a one-year loan deal.
The 23-year-old Boeung Ket Angkor forward sees the move as a great opportunity to eventually play in the Japanese top flight J-League.
He told a press conference at the weekend: “Some people think that with my abilities I should be playing higher than the third division, but I want to work my way up to the top.
“I will try my hardest to develop to the standard required of the J-League, but I want to help Fujieda win the J3 League title first.” Fujieda finished last season in seventh position.
Boeung Ket general manager Be Makara called it a wonderful opportunity and hailed it a milestone in Cambodian football as Vathanaka became the first player from the Kingdom to play in Japan.
He said: “We are sending one of our key players to Japan with Vathanaka becoming the first Cambodian to play in a professional league in Japan.
“I hope this move will help build Cambodian football’s image in Asia, and that he is seen as an example to the next generation who have dreams of becoming professional footballers to give 100 percent in training and also earn a big chance like Vathanaka has.”
Fujieda MYFC president Jun Koyama told reporters: “Chan Vathanaka is one of the most famous football players in Cambodia and so I am very happy that he has agreed to join our club.
“I promise to help him develop to next level, and I hope Vathanaka can not only make his name in Asia but also be famous in Europe and the world.”
Vathanaka added: “I will try my best to help my new club achieve its goals, and I hope I will gain new experiences in Japan and enhance my skills to get to the next level – in doing so this will help my national team become stronger.
“I want the world to know that Cambodian players have the ability to play abroad.”
Vathanka’s move follows on the heels of former Phnom Penh Crown midfielder Chantha Bin Thierry joining Thai third-tier club Krabi FC on a three-year contract earlier this month.
Translated by In sopheng