Be Forward Wanderers midfielder Jabulani Linje has left for Japan where he will join a third division (J-3 League) side, Yokohama Sports and Culture Club after being offered a two-year loan contract.
From Lilongwe, Linje will fly to Ethiopia where he is expected to connect to China before Japan.
“Everything is set and I am so excited because l will be the first Malawian to sign for a Japanese football team,” said Linje.
He hailed his club Be Forward Wanderers and Japanese second-hand automobile dealers Be Forward Limited’s sponsorship of TNM Super League kings for facilitating the deal.
He said he will try his best to impress so that he open a big window of opportunity to his colleagues.
Some weeks ago, Wanderers and YSCC released joint statement in which they confirmed agreeing on the transfer of the 23-year-old versatile attacker, whose move is subject to a medical.
Wanderers duo of Linje and Precious Msosa joined a selection session held by YSCC last December, whereby Jabulani Linje successfully got the two-year contract after impressing YSCC.
On his comment, Wanderers General Secretary, Mike Butao, said Linje’s imminent transfer had vindicated them.
He also said they are happy that finally Linje is moving to Japan today.
“He signed a new contract with us, running up to 2010. There is no transfer fee involved. He is going there on loan because we believe that within a few months [of playing for YSCC], he will be spotted by a J-League team [and Wanderers stand to earn more from a big money transfer].
“People said a lot of things when the players went to Japan for trials but those who understand football know that when a player goes for trials, he doesn’t train with a main team but reserves. It is upon recommendations of coaches that a player moves to a main team. When we sent the players to Japan, people ridiculed us but we knew what we were doing,” Butao said.
Yokohama have also confirmed on www.yscc1986. net the imminent transfer of the Flames player.
Japan national football team is ranked 56 compared to 124 for Malawi on the latest Fifa/ Coca-Cola World Rankings. Japan and, indeed, Asia are considered the future of football, with big name players and coaches heading there to work in view of massive injection of money into the game.