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KASHIWA, Chiba Pref. — As a fresh wave of Japanese players try to make their mark in Europe this spring, Kashiwa Reysol winger Koki Mizuno will settle for simply setting foot on a pitch again.

Still only 25 but with a weight of experience on his shoulders, it is fair to say that Mizuno’s career has not followed the trajectory it seemed set for when he burst onto the scene with JEF United Chiba in 2004.

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