The Wollongong Wolves Football Club announced the signing of Japanese J-League star, Takuya Nozawa.
Nozawa has agreed to terms and will be joining the club immediately for all its 2018 football commitments.
The attacking midfielder has been one of the J-League’s most successful and popular players for well over a decade of top flight football and boasts an amazing resume which includes, 5 J-League titles, Emperor’s Cup success on 2 occasions, 3-time J-League Cup winner, Japanese Super Cup champion, and a Suruga Cup Championship.
Wollongong Wolves First Grade Coach Jacob Timpano was understandably full of excitement at Nozawa’s addition to his squad for 2018.
“We have already assembled a very strong and competitive team for this season and now with Takuya’s addition we have a player who has been there and done that, consistently at the highest level.
“He is going to give us a host of additional options and firepower as a group.
Superb signing who will quickly make his mark on the field and will definitely become a crowd favourite.”
Nozawa has played over 380 games in the J-League and more than 500 matches in total across his illustrious career in Japan in all competitions.
He sits on 99 careers goals and has been responsible for setting up and assisting many, many more. An ex-team mate of Wolves striker Yuzo Tashiro at Kashima Antlers, Nozawa was in high demand from a range of clubs but decided to continue his career at the Wollongong Wolves.
Takayuki Kamijo, Managing Director of T&J Cross Pty Ltd, who holds an extensive football contact network across Asia and in particular the J-League was the conduit for the initial introductions between the Wolves and Nozawa
“Nozawa has a football pedigree second to none. He is one of the strongest competitors ever in Japanese football and his longevity and success speak for themselves. He intends to bring that same passion and hunger here to Wollongong and play a major role for the Wolves in 2018.”
Wolves striker Tashiro was very pleased in being able to reunite with his ex-team mate – this time in Wolves colours.
“I am very close to Takuya and told him what a great club the Wolves are and what a fantastic city Wollongong is, filled with beautiful people.
“We talked about Wollongong quite a lot in the off season and it is great to actually have him here now and agree to play with us this year.
“After playing with the Wolves last season, I am much more comfortable and settled now and confident I will have an even stronger year this season.
“Having Takuya on the field now makes me even more confident. He knows my game and I know his game.
“We play well together.”
Timpano now has completed the full signings for his 2018 team and is looking forward to the commencement of the NPL NSW Men’s Competition with the Wolves starting their hunt for the title on Sunday March 11th at the Wolf Den, WIN Stadium against Blacktown City FC.
“We’ve assembled a squad of mainly local Illawarra and South Coast born, bred and developed talent, sprinkled with a couple of quality, young and hungry players looking to make their mark. Add this to proven professionals such as Nick Montgomery, Yuzo Tashiro and now Takuya Nozawa, this is the best squad the Wolves have put together in a long, long, long time.
“We have the ideal mix of youth, talent, experience professionalism and importantly the desire to really leave our mark on this year’s competition. Pre-season has been excellent and we’ll be more than ready and prepared when things start getting serious on March 11th.”
Wollongong Wolves CEO, Chris Papakosmas highlighted the signing as a harbinger of things to come “Being in a position where we can now not only attract the interest of players such as Nozawa but get them to actually agree and sign for the Wolves shows just how far our club has progressed in 12 months.
“Our chairman and the new board have done an outstanding job in revitalising and reinvigorating our great club and engaging our entire region.
“We are in a position now where we will make our mark in the NPL and continue to build an undeniable presence to be the first club in line for A-League and W-League expansion.
These are very exciting times for football across the Illawarra and South Coast and we still have quite a few more announcements coming up that will definitely attract attention.”
-Wollongong Wolves Press Release