Izwan in Japan for week-long training stint with Matsumoto Yamaga
Singapore goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud has arrived at Matsumoto Yamaga after leaving for Japan yesterday morning. He has pledged to do his best to impress the J.League club in his week-long training stint, which ends on Monday.
The 25-year-old, who was greeted by Japanese media at Narita Airport, said: "It will be a good learning stint and I will maximise the opportunity.
"I am excited to have the opportunity to train with one of the top teams in Japan, and I am thankful to Matsumoto Yamaga, Epson, J.League and the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) for making this training stint possible."
The first of his three training sessions with the J2 side, recently relegated after finishing 16th out of 18 teams in their first season in the top flight, will be at 2pm (Japan time) today, before a friendly match against the Matsumoto University team on Saturday.
Izwan made headlines after a man-of-the-match performance for Singapore when they held Japan 0-0 in a World Cup/Asian Cup qualifier in June in Saitama.
The invitation to train with the J-League side was extended by the club's vice-chairman Yoshuyuki Kato later that month when The New Paper visited Matsumoto to report on their youth football collaboration with the FAS.
Izwan accepted the offer after the LionsXII were knocked out of the Malaysia Cup when they lost 4-3 on aggregate to Pahang in the quarter-finals on Saturday.
Among those who were at Changi Aiport yesterday for the send-off were family members and friends, including current and former LionsXII teammates Raihan Rahman and Fazli Ayob, and senior officials from FAS and Epson.