Andik Vermansyah could potentially become the first Indonesian player to participate in the J-League after what by most accounts was a successful one-week trial at Ventforet Kofu.
The 21-year-old's first visit to Japan was sponsored by Garuda Indonesia, the country's national airline, which in April formed a partnership with the team's home prefecture of Yamanashi.
Andik quickly impressed observers in his second day with the club, when on Sunday he scored a goal in a reserves match against Shimizu S-Pulse. His performance made headlines in Japanese newspapers and impressed the 2,000 supporters in attendance.
On his last night in Japan before returning to Indonesia, the Persebaya 1927 winger spoke to reporters at the Tokyo branch office of Garuda Indonesia.
"I felt that the environment [at Ventforet] was a better fit for me," Andik said when asked to compare US and Japanese leagues.
"The Japanese players tried very hard to communicate with me [despite the language barrier].
"[J-League players] are very good technically and have superb control, but Indonesian players might have more 'guts' on the pitch."
He was quick to praise Ventforet manager Hiroshi Jofuku, who is known across Japan for his passionate displays: "I was only with the team for a week, but I thought he was very kind," Andik said, prompting laughter from the assembled press corps.
"He joked after practice but you could tell that he took training very seriously."
As the J-League prepares to open a newly-created third division in 2014, Andik stated his eagerness to represent Indonesia in the country's top flight should Ventforet, who are currently in 15th place, finish the season above the drop zone.
"If I had a chance I would gladly accept the challenge," he said.
"I'm proud to come here as an Indonesian, and I want to show that Indonesian players can succeed in Japan."