Shinjo Ono has two goals in Australia; to help the Wanderers get their first win and show the A-League just what Asian players are capable of.
Wanderers FC marquee man Shinji Ono has had plenty of success throughout a storied career, including a UEFA Cup, Asian Cup and an AFC Champions League title.
But Asian players, on the whole, remain something of an enigma in the Hyundai A-League and the our closest neighbours are still our biggest untapped talent pool.
Ono, however, is out to change all that – to show Australia what he can do, and to show Japanese players they can come to Australia and have success.
“I am trying to show the fans that we (Japanese players) can be good. I need to show some good performances in the A-League, then everyone will know and more Japanese players will come, that is my dream,” Ono told footballaustralia.com.au.
What Ono perhaps didn-t count on is how hard it can be to come to grips with life in the A-League but he says he is slowly but surely coming to grips with that characteristically athletic Australian style.
“Everybody asks me about that and where I have played previously there is more focus on technique. Here I feel everybody has good technique and good quality, and is also physically strong, so there is pressure all over the park, they play a very physical game here,” Ono said.
“I didn-t play for almost two months in Japan before I came here. The first game I played half an hour and then two games of 90 minutes and of course my football image is not 100 per cent, but my body is getting better for it.
“It-s step by step and every day and every game I need to prove myself and keep improving, I feel every day I am playing better and the communication with my teammates gets better.”
One man Ono doesn-t seem to have problems striking up that on-field dialogue with is Aaron Mooy, and Ono admitted he has been impressed by the young midfielder.
“I have a lot of respect for someone like Aaron Mooy, he has a very good technique and a good eye to make changes happen on the pitch.”
After 270 minutes of football without a goal, however, many are wondered when and where that elusive and history first strike will come from. The impact Alessandro Del Piero and Emile Heskey also has Wanderers fans hoping their own marquee signing will deliver something similar soon.
Not that Ono seems overly concerned by the pressure. The man they call “Tensai” is keeping the faith that the Wanderers can go to Brisbane, top the rampant Roar and lift themselves off the bottom of the Hyundai A-League ladder.
“I-m not worried about this start because we are working hard every day and I have the confidence before each game that we can get the three points and now it-s time to be patient and we will become better soon.
“I don-t know a lot about the Brisbane team, but I don-t really care about the other team, I care about me and my team and every time we play that we bring a winning mentality to the match and try and win every ball.”
Current form suggests a Western Sydney win at Suncorp Stadium would be the most unlikely of upsets.
But as Ono approaches full fitness and continues to build that understanding with his teammates, getting a result against the two-time champions is the perfect opportunity to show the A-league just what Asian players can do.