Philippine National Football Team striker Mark Hartmann is looking forward to a new chapter in his career after completing his transfer to Malaysian Super League side Sarawak FA earlier in the month.
The 24-year-old Filipino-British standout previously played for Geylang International FC in the Singapore League before making the jump to Malaysia.
“When the season begins I’ll be looking to get off to a bright start,” Hartmann told The Manila Times in an online interview while on training camp with Sarawak in Australia.
The proficient scorer officially signed a one-year contract with the Crocs last December 16, locking him with the club until the end of the 2017 season.
His move marks another milestone in his career after making history as the first Filipino football player to play in the domestic top-flight tournament of Singapore.
During his stint with Geylang, Hartmann played a vital role in the club’s offensive line, scoring a total of 11 goals in eight games in Singapore.
Consequently, the former United Football League top scorer revealed that he was already in contact with team officials of Sarawak in the past month after his release from Geylang.
“They came to watch my last game at Geylang against Home. Then they knew I couldn’t go there till after the Suzuki cup. A couple members from Geylang kept in touch with them and then I flew there pretty much as soon as the competition finished.”
Meanwhile, according to the towering forward, he feels positive on his move and added that playing on a bigger stage in the Southeast Asian region will be a good test to his skills.
“It feels great. It was a good step for me playing in Singapore. Now this is an even bigger step. As long as I can keep improving and performing well I’m sure everything will fall in place,” he said.
On the other hand, he explained that it is still early to tell whether his relocation to Malaysia will be fruitful but stressed that everything is going well with his latest team.
“Football wise can’t really say much yet. We’re in camp now in Australia. Only time will tell. But Sarawak, Kuching itself is a lovely place to be living,” he clarified.
Hartmann has been training with last year’s Malaysian Super League eighth placers for the past three weeks and has already scored for Sarawak in their Australian training tour.
Lastly, he said that he hopes that his career will benefit from the transfer and reiterated that he is thankful for the chance of trying his luck with a bigger club.
“Hopefully the same as Singapore did. It gave me the potential to move to another great league in Asia and the chance for more people to watch me play. So playing here will only bring something positive I’m
sure,” he ended. Sarawak FA will be starting their campaign in the 12-team top-tier football competition in Malaysia on January 22.