Melbourne Victory have announced midfielder Oliver Bozanic has departed the club to take up an opportunity in Japan.
Bozanic has joined J-League club Ventforet Kofu, with Victory agreeing to release the 28-year-old in the second year of his three-year contract.
“This is a great opportunity for me to experience playing in Japan and to develop my career further,” Bozanic said.
“It was a difficult decision for me to make at this stage of the A-League season, and it will be sad to leave a club like Melbourne Victory.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here and I’m grateful to Kevin Muscat for giving me the opportunity to play at such a professional club with great people.
“My teammates and the coaching staff have enabled me to get the best out of myself, and the Victory fans have been outstanding in their support of me.
“I wish the club every success for the rest of the season and into the future.”
Bozanic arrived at Victory for the start of the 2015/16 season and has made 63 appearances in all competitions, scoring seven goals.
He scored the opening goal in Victory’s 2015 Westfield FFA Cup Final win over Perth Glory, and he played a key role in helping the club progress to the Round of 16 in last year’s AFC Champions League.
“Ollie has made a strong contribution to Melbourne Victory over nearly two seasons, and we wish him well with his next opportunity,” said Victory coach Kevin Muscat.
“His professionalism, work ethic and positive attitude made him a great addition to the playing group.
“The timing of player transfers often cannot be helped, and we understand this is the nature of football.”