Brisbane Roar coach Warren Moon says Riku Danzaki’s A-League success is opening doors for the club in Asia.
Danzaki spent last season on loan from J-League club Consadole Sapporo and the 21-year-old ended the campaign as the club’s leading scorer with nine goals in 26 appearances.
Despite doing all they could to extend Danzaki’s Australian stay, the attacking midfielder is back home and on loan with second-tier club JEF United Chiba.
Moon said in an ideal world he would have been able to retain the Japanese youngster and New Zealand Olympic winger Joey Champness, who has since joined Giresunspor in Turkey.
“We tried everything we could with Riku and Joey,” Moon told AAP.
“Both expressed an interest to come back but obviously both (were) contracted to other clubs and obviously their decisions are around what they feel is best for them as clubs.
“We respect that.”
Brisbane made a winning start to their 2021-22 campaign on Tuesday with a 3-0 win over Peninsula Power in an FFA Cup round of 32 fixture at Redcliffe.
The three goals were all scored by new faces in former Sydney FC youngster Luke Ivanovic and overseas recruits Matti Steinmann and Juan Lescano.
Moon, however, said he would be eager to lure more Asian talent to the club and was confident the success of Danzaki’s time in Australia could only help make the Roar an attractive destination.
“I make no secret of my love of Asian players in terms of how they are technically, especially from Japan and Korea. We’ve looked extensively in that market,” he said.
“What has been easier is conversations with Japanese clubs who now have an actual reference point about what could be achieved if a player comes from Japan, the J-League, into the A-League through Riku.”