Ernie aims to be S'pore's first female footballer to play overseas

Ernie aims to be S'pore's first female footballer to play overseas
Footballer Ernie Sulastri Sontaril plays for the H-TWO-O Ultimate Women’s Dream Team in the local women’s league and Challenge Cup. She will fly to Japan on 11 November 2013 for a two-week trial with L-League division two sides Bunnys Kyoto SC and Fukuoka J Anclas, trying to win a contract with either club.

Adam Swandi, Mahathir Azeman, Bryan Neubronner and Irfan and Ikhsan Fandi Ahmad are all young footballers chasing dreams in France, Brazil, Germany and Chile respectively.

Their ultimate goal - to play professionally in world-class football hotbeds.

Ernie Sulastri Sontaril hopes to be a trailblazer for local women.

She wants to become Singapore's first female footballer to ply her trade overseas.

The 24-year-old freelance football coach will fly to Japan on Nov 11 for a two-week trial with L-League division two sides Bunnys Kyoto SC and Fukuoka J Anclas, trying to win a contract with either club.

Speaking to The New Paper, Ernie said: "I've always wanted to travel and play the sport I love. I like to challenge myself and take the risk. "When I was studying in ITE, I wanted to make football my career, but there was no full-time opportunity here for women's football.

"I don't dream of success, I work for it. So I thought I should try going abroad."

As a fan of Japan's women's national team, the country seemed a natural choice for the Singapore international, who made her debut in 2010.

"My favourite player is Japan's former national captain Homare Sawa. I admire their team for their playing style and professionalism," said the defensive midfielder.

"It is amazing how a team from Asia won the Women's World Cup in 2011.

"I want to learn more about their culture and become a better player and person."

Urged on by a Japanese friend who used to play in the L-League, Ernie has decided to take the plunge.

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