Hartmann returns from Thailand to settle unfinished business in Malaysia

Philippines international striker Mark Hartmann revealed he chose to return to Malaysia, despite receiving offers from Thailand.

The 25-year-old moved to Sarawak at the start of the season after leaving S.League side Geylang International at the end of the 2016 season.

However, Hartmann was released from Sarawak during the 2017 Malaysia Super League (MSL) mid-season break despite putting in some impressive performances, as the Crocs look to inject new blood into the team and avoid relegation.

There is definitely unfinished business and I am fully focused on giving my all with Penang

With offers from Thailand, Hartmann was prepared to make the switch to Thailand, before Penang’s newly-appointed head coach Zainal Abidin came in with an offer at the last minute.

“I was in Bangkok negotiating with two Thai League clubs and was close to putting pen to paper but the call from coach Zainal came at the very last minute,” Hartmann shared.

“He is one of Malaysia's top coaches and the chance to work with him made it an almost impossible opportunity to pass on.”

A chance to work with Zainal proved too hard to resist for Hartmann

Hartmann added that he was also swayed by his experience with Sarawak, where the fans made him felt wanted.

Feeling he still had much to prove in Malaysia, Hartmann chose to sign for Penang instead.

“Deep down inside, I felt that I left Sarawak without fully showing what I am capable of. The Sarawak fans showed me the passion and support that made me want to come back to play in the MSL,” Hartmann added.

“There is definitely unfinished business and I am fully focused on giving my all with Penang to repay the coach and club's belief in me.

“We'll see where it takes me but scoring my first goal for Penang is the priority. Of course the Thai League is a very interesting challenge, but it is all about Penang now.”

Photos: Penang