Japanese star set to join Wolves

The Wollongong Wolves are set to pull off a massive signing coup with five-time J-League title winning attacking midfielder Takuya Nozawa poised to join the club. 

TALENT: New Wolves midfielder Takuya Nozawa (number 8) celebrates scoring against Sydney FC. Photo: Wolter Peeters

TALENT: New Wolves midfielder Takuya Nozawa (number 8) celebrates scoring against Sydney FC. Photo: Wolter Peeters

The Illawarra Mercury understands Nozawa will link up with the Wolves for the upcoming NSW National Premier League Men’s 1 campaign. It is expected the 36-year-old will suit up alongside his teammates when they face-off against Chinese League One side Wuhan Zall FC in Brisbane this Saturday night.

The creative midfielder played last season with J-League 1 outfit Vegalta Sendai before he was released by the club at the beginning of January this year.

It is believed the Wolves, who continue to try and build a case for entry into the A-League, were quick to show interest in the experienced playmaker.

Nozawa (pictured, number 8) has played close to 400 games in Japan’s top division, including 285 appearances for perennial title contenders Kashima Antlers. 

He has scored 99 goals across all competitions.

One of those strikes came against A-League heavyweights Sydney FC in a 3-0 Asian Champions League win while playing with the Antlers in 2011. 

All five of his league titles came at the same club where he was a teammate of current Wolves striker Yuzo Tashiro.

Tashiro, 35, has also been retained for the 2018 campaign after a stellar debut season in Wollongong where he finished as the club’s top goalscorer. Meanwhile, this week the Wolves announced they have retained the services of Luke Kaires and James Markovic for this season. 

The club has also added Michael Stojanovski, Ryan Ensor and Quivi Fowler to their first grade squad.

Wollongong begin their new season on Sunday, March 11 against title hopefuls Blacktown City FC at WIN Stadium. 

Yuzo Tashiro.

Yuzo Tashiro.

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