Still a rare thing today, for an Indonesian professional athlete to have a career abroad. One of those who will now try their luck in a foreign country is the volleyball player Team Indonesia, Rivan Nurmulki, who is now preparing to go to Japan to join the Nagano Tridents club.
Rivan’s valuable opportunity, originated from an email from Nagano Tridents coach Ahmad Masajedi to Rivan manager Wibi Anhari. Last August 2020.
After accepting the offer, Rivan did not think long about not accepting it. And now, he is also preparing to go to the Land of the Rising Sun, and become the first volleyball player from Indonesia who has a career in Japan.
“I immediately said yes when I was first informed of the offer,” said Rivan, who is also a police officer, as reported by Jawa Pos.
In fact, the offer for Rivan to play in Japan had been around since 2019, but by PBVSI, the player who was raised by the Surabaya Samator club did not get his blessing.
PBVSI asked Rivan to concentrate more on preparing with the Indonesian national team to face the 2019 Philippines SEA Games. The Jambi native player complied with the wishes of the federation.
The sacrifice of the 25-year-old player for not leaving for Japan earlier was not in vain. With Rivan as the opposite spiker in the National Team, Indonesia successfully won gold at the SEA Games. One thing that has never been done by Indonesian volleyball since 2009.
For Rivan himself, the offer for a career in Japan is also felt to be present at the right time. When Proliga 2020 could not run due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Although now he is also pressed for time to complete various paperwork and administrative matters required, as well as physical training to maintain his condition. Because Japan’s V.LEAGUE Division 1, the competition in which the Nagano Tridents play, will start rolling out this October 17th. It is predicted that Rivan will depart in the 2nd week of October.
“Since I agreed to join, I received training material from the coaching team,” he said.
Thankfully, Rivan’s planned departure immediately received support from all parties. Starting from the commander in the police, recommendation and blessing from PBVSI, as well as approval from the previous club Surabaya Bhayangkara Samator.
“While arranging permits, we have also arranged for visas for departure to Japan since August 7,” said Wibi.
Nagano Tridents itself is a new club in Japan. They were founded in 2018, in that year the Tridents immediately jumped into the Emperor Cup and finished in 9th position. In the 2019 season, the Tridents took part in Japan’s V.LEAGUE Division 1, and took the key position in 10th place.
In his debut season with the Tridents this time, Rivan did not set high targets to bring his new club champions. Competing in the Japanese League which has a higher level, has been considered to be a stage for him to be able to compete in skills as well as to learn from the world’s best players.
The team also didn’t set high targets.
“Yes, the important message is to play well,” he said.
According to Wibi, Rivan will later play at the Nagano Tridents for two years. Because this is in accordance with the agreed contract.
“At least two years. Because we have an agreement with the other party that I cannot disclose, “said Wibi.
Rivan’s step is certainly expected to be an opening door not only for fellow Volleyball players, but also for other athletes, in taking part in foreign countries as professional athletes.