What’s exciting right now? The Australian players who’ve transferred to Asia for more game time and improve in a new and challenging environment.
(Pahang, Malaysian Super League)
Perth Glory fans will remember Davies well.
The hardworking full-back made 16 senior appearances for the purple shirts from 2013 but left in 2015 for the Malaysian Super League.
Like Harry Sawyer, he left because game time was key to his development, he said.
And sure enough, he’s found it, becoming a regular in the Malaysian top flight playing over 110 times for Pahang.
The Perth-born 24-year-old has cemented his reputation in the rapidly improving South-East Asia league with an eye-catching four years with the Elephants (based just outside Kuala Lumpur).
So good his stint has been, he was made club captain within a year of arriving, and was also called up to the Malaysian national team (due to his heritage).
Davies is a natural leader, having captained the AIS in the old national youth league. And last year, at just 23, he was the youngest captain ever to lift the Malaysian FA Cup when his Pahang defeated Selangor 2-0 at the Bukit Jalil stadium.
The A-League needs more talent to fill the squads of the two new clubs over the coming years and players like Davies fit the bill.
They’ll come back to the A-League with greater experience, leadership, and quality.
The attacking defender would be a smart pick up for any A-League club.
(Tai Po, Hong Kong Premier League)
Playing regular football in the Philippines and Hong Kong, and scoring a bag full of goals, has put the giant striker firmly on the A-League transfer radar.
He’s the sort of striker Australia doesn’t seem to produce anymore: a big presence up front (195cm) who you know will win the high balls and can finish.
After being on the fringes at the Jets, Sawyer left Australia and joined Phillipines outfit Davao Aguilas in 2017, where he won the Golden Boot in his half a season there.
Goal-scoring hasn’t been a problem in HK either, with seven goals so far this season.
At 22 Sawyer’s still got plenty potential, but what his two years in Asia has given him is the confidence you get from playing regularly and scoring a bagful, too.
A big central striker, who could easily hit double figures in an A-League season? A-League clubs might want to check out “Hong Kong Harry” now.