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Indonesian Bachdim joins Ventforet

Kyodo

Dutch-born Indonesia forward Irfan Bachdim announced Monday he has officially joined J. League first-division side Ventforet Kofu.

“I am very happy about this move to a higher level such as the J. League,” Bachdim told a news conference.

The idea to invite Bachdim came up last month when he played in a practice game between Ventforet and Vegalta Sendai. Bachdim, one of Indonesia’s more popular players, was then on a two-year contract with Thai club Chonburi FC.

“My personal target is to play in as many as games as I can, so I can find my way back to the national team,” he said.

According to Ventforet, the club thought highly of the forward’s potential during a tryout held by the J. League Players Association. His fast playing style caught the club’s eye even though he wasn’t in top physical condition at the time.

Ventforet general manager Satoru Sakuma said Bachdim will be the J. League’s first Indonesian player and his contract will run through the end of the 2014 season.

Last season, Vietnam’s first J. Leaguer, Le Cong Vinh, played for second-division side Consadole Sapporo.