Albirex Niigata winger Tatsuro Inui will not be part of the defending champions' campaign of the 2016 S.League season as he has joined the recently-promoted Thai League side Thai Honda.
The 26-year-old played a key role during the White Swans' phenomenal 2016, in which they became the first S.League side to win a quadruple. Inui, who re-joined the club ahead of the recently-concluded season, netted 10 goals in 23 appearances across all competitions.
Notably, Inui began his S.League career in 2010 when he signed up for Albirex. He played 62 games in a two-year-period before he signed up with Warriors FC in 2013. He also was part of Geylang International setup for the 2015 season.
Inui has revealed that he wanted a fresh challenge after spending six seasons in the S.League, according to the Today Online. The former Albirex midfielder is not the only S.League player who is seeking greener pastures but Tampines Rovers star Hafiz Abu Sujad is also set to have a week-long trial with Thai league sides Sisaket FC and also with second-tier Thai league club Big Bang Chula United.
Hafiz still has a year left in his contract with the Stags but he has been given the nod for the Thailand trial by the Tampines' management.
The possibility of S.League players signing up for Thai clubs has brightened after TPL reportedly announced that there would be an Asean player slot for teams in the second tier league from 2017 and also in the top-tier from 2018, which would see players from the Asean region playing in Thailand.