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Daizo wants competition upgrade

Photo courtesy of Daizo Horikoshi / Instagram

Philippines Football League Golden Ball winner and Kaya FC-Iloilo footballer Daizo Horikoshi wants to face clubs from Japan J1 League for the 2023-2024 AFC Champions League starting this 18 September.

The 26-year-old Japanese forward said during last Monday’s episode of The Athletes’ Tribun that he would like to test himself in Asia’s biggest stage in club football.

Horikoshi finished the season with 15 goals and 19 assists and helped Kaya win its first PFL title in club history and secured an automatic spot in the AFC Champions League.

“I want to face J1 League teams because I watched the games back when we were kids and the last time we played in the ACL, we didn’t play against them,” Horikoshi said.

“So I hope this time, I can play against them.”

2022 J1 League champion Yokohama F. Marinos, J1 Emperor Cup winner Ventforet Kofu, Kawasaki Frontale and defending ACL titleist Urawa Red Diamonds all made it for this year’s edition of the tournament.

The last time Kaya joined the ACL, it was in Group F with Ulsan Hyundai FC from Korea’s K League 1, Vietnam’s Viettel FC from the V. League 1 and BG Pathum United FC from Thailand’s Thai League 1.

The Iloilo-based squad lost all six games in the group, causing Kaya to drop out early.

Horikoshi enjoyed Kaya’s run in the PFL with Azkals prospect Jarvey Gayoso and Tamon Horikoshi, his younger brother.

He also can’t wait to celebrate Kaya’s latest win with the fans back in Iloilo.

“I’m happy. Jarvey helps us and he scores for the team. I think that’s a good thing for Kaya,” Horikoshi said.

“I enjoyed being with him(Tamon) everyday. I already played with him before in college. He was surprised and I introduced Filipino food to him.”

“I want to share the trophy with the fans back in Iloilo because they give me so much support, especially when we play there. The fans would sometimes go to Manila to watch us play.”

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