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.
(Sukhothai FC, Thai Premier League)
Ferns fell through the A-League net but was able to reinvent his career in Asia.
And at just 25, the well-built defender has the physique to match it in the physically demanding A-League.
He was in and around the Melbourne Heart youth set up around seven years ago, but with first team chances limited, he went on an NPL spree playing in Tasmania, Victoria, and Brisbane before an offer in Malaysia materialised four years ago.
He’s since underlined his value with an eye-catching campaign that saw him earn a move to the Thai League last season - the strongest in South-East Asia and one that is now starting to supply players to the J-League.
Ferns is in pre-season ahead of his second season with Sukhothai FC.
Not only could he be a regular in the A-League, but his endearing, knockabout personality could also easily make him a fan favourite.
(Air Force Central FC, Thailand)
With Sydney FC going a season almost entirely unbeaten, and with the likes of Alex Wilkinson, Matt Jurman and later Jordy Buijs, little wonder the talented Sydneysider struggled to find regular game time at Moore Park.
Flottman left Sydney FC in December last year and joined the Blue Eagles, who were relegated from the Thai top flight last season.
The young defender says he’s revelling in a new football culture, new country and the high standard of football. He’s managed by Jason Brown (formerly a Welsh International keeper who also played nine times for Blackburn in the EPL).
The Aussie is currently preparing for his first season in Thailand. And at 21 (he turns 22 in April), Flottman has every chance of coming back to the A-League a more experienced and better player next season.