van Wermeskerken, left, defends against Jesus Corona
20-year-old Sai van Wermeskerken became the latest Japanese player to play in a top European league on Sunday when he made his debut appearance for Eredivisie side FC Dordrecht.
The midfielder, who has a Japanese mother and Dutch father, joined the club’s Under-21 team in 2013 after attending school in Yamanashi Prefecture and playing for Ventforet Kofu’s Under-18 side.
With Dordrecht having already been relegated to the second division, van Wermeskerken was called up to the senior squad and played a full 90 minutes at right back in a 3-0 away loss at mid-table FC Twente.
“Despite the result, it was a wonderful day,” the player told Dordrecht’s official website. “I’m happy I was finally able to make my debut two years after arriving here.
“I was nervous at first, but my teammates supported me and I played a good first half. I’m disappointed to have allowed my opponents to score, but it felt great to be on the pitch.”
The match concluded in a short meeting between Japanese abroad when Twente winger Ryo Miyaichi came on in the 81st minute.