Roar recruit Danzaki turning heads in Japan


After his first goal for Brisbane Roar in January, Riku Danzaki earned praise from Shinji Ono and one wonders what the Japanese legend’s reaction will be following the youngster’s brace against Melbourne Victory on Saturday.

Danzaki signed for Brisbane in November on loan from Consadole Sapporo and after just five games of the season, the 20-year-old has scored three goals and is winning admirers in Australia as well as back home.

On January 20, after the youngster scored for the Queenslanders in a 2-1 win over Newcastle Jets, Ono told the midfielder that his efforts had been “awesome.”

On Saturday,Danzaki, who is set to go back to Sapporo at the end of the season, scored in each half as Brisbane defeated the struggling Victory 5-2 to go above Central Coast Mariners and back into first place with 12 points from five games.

“With two goals and one assist, Danzaki was on the rampage as Brisbane go top” said football website Gekisaka where the story was one of the most-viewed articles of the day.

Soccer Digest magazine is also impressed with how the player is performing down under and remarked on his improvement. “Danzaki suffered from injuries last season and wasn't able to perform as expected, but he seems to have already blended in well with the team and is demonstrating his talent in Australia.”

Danzaki showed his poaching skills after just 17 minutes against Melbourne. With his team already two goals to the good, the Japanese talent pounced from close range after a mix-up between goalkeeper Max Crocombe and Adama Traore.

He was there sliding in at the back post early in the second half to sweep home a low Macaulay Gillesphey cross from the left.

“It was an exciting performance from Danzaki who was lively throughout the game,” added Sport Nippon.

The praise from Japan was echoed by Brisbane boss Warren Moon.

"I knew of his quality. He's hungry. He wants an opportunity," said the coach. “He wasn't getting much of an opportunity in the J-League. He's come here for an opportunity, and with young players when you give them opportunity, you know you're going to get that from them. He's no different."

Danzaki is not the only Japanese player at Brisbane. Striker Masata Kudo, who joined from Renafo Yamaguchi in December, has made two substitute appearances so far this season.