/

Defender Shiotani headed to UAE’s Al Ain

Kyodo

Sanfrecce Hiroshima defender Tsukasa Shiotani will join United Arab Emirates powerhouse Al Ain, the J. League team announced Thursday.

Capped twice at the senior international level, the 28-year-old, who was one of three overage players on the Japan squad at last summer’s Rio Olympics, joins 2003 Asian Champions League winner Al Ain at a time when Hiroshima is languishing in the J1 relegation zone.

“I put serious thought into this move as it comes at a time when our club is struggling. But I reached the decision thinking I wouldn’t want to have any regrets in my soccer career,” Shiotani said in a statement.

“My five years with Sanfrecce Hiroshima are my treasure, my pride and my greatest memories. I believe Sanfrecce are capable of becoming stronger, and I will continue to cheer for them even though I will be leaving. Thank you for your support over the years.”