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Japan wasn’t a waste, says Vathanaka

Ismail Vorajee / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Cambodian wonderkid Chan Vathanaka had a frustrating time in Japan. Supplied

Boeung Ket’s star striker Chan Vathanaka recently arrived back in the kingdom after finishing a frustrating season-long loan at Japanese third tier side Fujieda MYFC.

Despite the fanfare, the 2016 C-League golden boot winner made a grand total of zero full appearances after making the move in January earlier this year.

However, the J3-league club consistently claimed Vathanaka had poor fitness and stamina which caused the club to restrict the Cambodian to a handful of substitute appearances – much to the chagrin of his legions of Cambodian fans.

Vathanaka insisted he found his Japanese experience fruitful despite the lack of playing time.

“Even though I didn’t have much play, I still think I made the right decision to join,” he told reporters after landing at Phnom Penh airport on Friday.

“Japan are a developed footballing country and if you want to be a better player, you should learn from the best.

“I’m not upset at my time there, in fact I am very happy to say I have played in Japan where I learned to develop myself as a footballer,” he added.

Vathanaka, 23, is reported to be in talks for another loan move; this time to Malaysian club Pahang FA. He would be following in the footsteps of national team midfielder Thierry Chantha Bin, who recently wrapped up a move to Malaysian Super League club Terengganu FC.

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