A-League club Western United have locked-in the services of Japanese defender Tomoki Imai for another season.
Imai made 12 appearances for Western last season after joining the club in February and has decided to stay in the A-League, rather than return to Japan.
Imai has spent the majority of his career jumping between the J-League and J2 League, and was a key factor in United's strong form towards the end of last season.
He's also set to be one of relatively few remaining foreigners in the A-League next season.
“I’m so excited to be able to continue with Western United,” Imai said. “Last year was an amazing season and I look forward to giving 100% again next season.”
Imai made 12 appearances in 2020, predominantly on the right side of Mark Rudan’s back three.
GM Football Ante Kovacevic said the retention of the versatile defender was significant going into next season.
“Retaining a player like Tomoki was important to the club and obviously our coaching staff”, Kovacevic said
“It is no surprise that the acquisition of Tomoki earlier this year coincided with the change in form of the team.
“His dedication, defensive and technical abilities will be a benefit to the team defensively and in possession."
Western are due to return to training next week.