Pending a medical at the Chinese Super League club, dual title-winning midfielder Erik Paartalu will leave the Brisbane Roar after a two-and-a-half year stint
|By JAMES WILLOUGHBY
Erik Paartalu has completed his expected move to Chinese Super League club Tianjin Teda, marking the end of his successful two-and-a-year stint at the Brisbane Roar.
Paartalu joined Roar when then-coach Ange Postecoglou signed him from Scottish First Division outfit Greenock Morton ahead of the 2010-11 A-League season.
He made an immediate impact, playing every match of the campaign as Brisbane clinched the A-League title for the first time.
The Sydney-born midfielder, 26, wrote his name into Roar folklore in the 2010-11 A-League grand final when his 120th-minute equaliser taking the match to penalties.
Brisbane eventually edged the Central Coast Mariners in a thrilling shootout in which Paartalu also scored a spot-kick.
And he backed it up last season, again being a regular in midfield as the Roar became the first side in the history of the competition to win back-to-back league titles.
Paartalu often played in a defensive midfield role, breaking down attacks, while he was also neat on the ball and had the ability to score spectacular goals.
He finishes his time with the Roar with 85 appearances in all competitions, netting 10 goals.
Paartalu, who signed a three-year deal with Brisbane when he arrived, was out of contract at the end of the season and his decision to move on was no surprise, with speculation lingering long before the move's confirmation.
"Sad to go but new adventure awaits! Never forget the people of Brisbane! The lads, the staff it has been an honour to stand alongside you," Paartalu posted on his Twitter account on Tuesday.
New Brisbane Roar coach Mike Mulvey thanked Paartalu for his efforts at the club.
"The history books will always mark Erik's on field contribution in helping secure Brisbane's first two Championship trophies," Mulvey said.
"He has been very professional in my time at the club and shown a commitment in helping the club turn things around.
"He is moving on and we now need to concentrate on the players who remain at the club. We wish Erik all the best for his future."
Paartalu will move to China shortly to begin pre-season training with Tianjin Teda, who will get their season underway in March.
Tianjin Teda finished eighth on the Chinese Super League table last season.