Izwan looking to maximise Matsumoto Yamaga stint
Singapore and LionsXII goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud stated he intends to make the most of his opportunity to train with J.League club Matsumoto Yamaga before departing for Japan on Tuesday morning.
The outfit, who were relegated from the Japanese top-flight at the end of the 2015 season, had invited the 25-year-old to participate in a trial from December 1 to 5.
"I am excited to have the opportunity to train with one of the top teams in Japan, and I am thankful to Matsumoto Yamaga, [sponsors] Epson, the J.League and the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) for making this training stint possible," he said before he departed at Changi Airport.
"It will be a good learning stint and I will maximise the opportunity. I know FAS is in talks with other clubs to secure opportunities for other players and I urge them to make full use of these opportunities.
"Thanks again to the FAS, including president Zainudin [Nordin] and general secretary Winston Lee, for always looking after our interests."
Izwan, who has been a standout performer for the LionsXII and the Singapore national team over the course of the latter's 2018 World Cup Group E qualification campaign, came to prominence in a 0-0 draw against Japan in June.
Then, the custodian kept the widely-fancied hosts at bay with a string of fantastic saves, with several Japanese sides - including Yamaga - subsequently reported to be sniffing around for his signature.
FAS deputy director Benjamin Tan believes the trial bodes well for their efforts spurring other local talents to challenge themselves abroad, adding: "We are constantly working with our partners to identify and secure overseas opportunities, which include attachment and training stints.
"This is a good opportunity for Izwan to train with, and learn from, other top professional footballers in Asia, and we look forward to receiving feedback from Matsumoto Yamaga's coaches on his stint.
"We would like to thank our partners, including the Japan Football Association, J.League and Epson, for their support."