Socceroo Nathan Burns off to Japan

In demand Socceroo striker Nathan Burns will be playing in the Japan topflight next season with FC Tokyo, pending a medical.

Burns was always a strong chance of heading overseas after a standout 2013-14 A-League campaign with Wellington Phoenix.

Phoenix general manager David Dome announced the club had accepted an offer from the J-League outfit and said the departure of the 27-year-old came as no surprise.

 “We expected this to happen given the season Nathan had with us,” Dome said.

“It became even more likely when he won the Johnny Warren medal for the best player in the A-League.

“(Coach) Ernie Merrick has been looking at alternatives for some time and will continue to do so.

“Nathan has been terrific for the Phoenix and we wish him well for the future.”

Burns signed a two-year deal with Phoenix in 2014 in what was a defining season for the striker at domestic and international level.

After struggling for game time at AEK Athens and Incheon United he reminded fans of his potential during a brief loan stint with Newcastle Jets before emerging as a genuine star at Phoenix where he became the club’s first player to score a hat-trick.