Paartalu eyes Asian glory

Erik Paartalu says he has always wanted to play in Korea and in Jeonbuk he has joined one of the biggest clubs in Asia.

Paartalu has left Melbourne City and signed for the Korean club.

The former Brisbane Roar midfielder made 40 appearances and scored seven goals for City but Paartalu told FourFourTwo he has his eye on Korea for some time.

“Korea had always been a target of mine,” he revealed.

“I’ve heard how tough the competition is and I wanted to test myself at a higher level. Jeonbuk was a no-brainer, they have won the K-League the last two years running and are serious contenders for the Asian Champions League.

“In terms of right now, this is one of the top clubs in Asia and I’m excited to be a part of that.”

Paartalu has extensive playing experience in Asia after spells in China with Tianjin Teda and in Thailand with Muangthong United.

His new club Jeonbuk won the K-League in 2015, 2014, 2011 and 2009, and were runners-up in 2012. The Green Warriors have also been successful in Asia, winning the Champions League in 2006 and were runners-up in 2011.

“I want to win something here, anything and everything if possible,” the 29-year old said.

“I had the opportunity of winning leagues in Scotland and Australia but I want to add an Asian title to my career.

We have a good chance here at Jeonbuk and I believe we have a strong side.

“Firstly, I just want to make a good impression to everyone at training and in the first games. Small steps for now but the season is around the corer and I feel I’m match Fit, but maybe I need to learn the style here a bit more and also to gel with my new team.”

Paartalu had moved to Melbourne City in September 2014 from the Thai Premier League. The former Socceroo admitted he has mixed emotions about leaving City.

“I made a lot of good friends there and was enjoying myself this season,” he said.

“The club is destined for success sooner or later but the opportunity to play here was just too much of an opportunity to turn down.”