14 February 2018

Malawi: Linje Leaves for Japan On Thursday

Blantyre — Be Forward Wanderers midfielder Jabulani Linje is set to leave on February 15, 2018 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.

Linje told Malawi News Agency (MANA) Wednesday that he would leave at 2:00pm through Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe using Ethiopian Airlines.

From Lilongwe, Linje will fly to Ethiopia where he is expected to connect to China before arriving in Japan.

"Everything is set and l am so excited because l will be the first Malawian to sign for a Japanese football team," said the jovial Linje.

He hailed his club Be Forward Wanderers and Japanese second-hand automobile dealers Be Forward Limited; sponsors of the 2017 TNM Super League kings for facilitating the deal.

He said he would try his best to impress to open a big window of 'football' opportunity to his colleagues back home.

Some weeks ago, Wanderers and YSCC released a joint statement in which they confirmed agreeing on the transfer terms of the 23-year-old versatile attacker but his move is subject to medical tests.

Wanderers duo of Linje and Precious Msosa joined a selection session held by YSCC last December (2017). This was the time when Linje won the hearts of YSCC technical panel and was awarded the two-year contract.

Commenting on the development, Wanderers General Secretary, Mike Butao, said Linje's imminent transfer had vindicated them and that they were happy that finally the player was moving to Japan.

"He signed a new contract with us. 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 stands to earn more from a big money transfer deal].

"People said a lot of things when the players went to Japan for trials [December 2017] but those who understand football know that when a player goes for trials, he doesn't train with the main team but reserve side.

"It is upon recommendations from coaches that a player moves to the main team. When we sent the players to Japan, people ridiculed us but we knew what we were doing," Butao said.

Yokohama has also confirmed on www.yscc1986.net the imminent transfer of the Flames Midfielder.

Japan national football team is ranked 56 compared to 124 for Malawi on the latest Fifa/ Coca-Cola World Rankings, meaning there is high competition.

Japan and, indeed, Asia are considered the future of football on the global stage, with big football names and coaches heading there to work following the massive financial injection into the game of football.

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