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South Korean Kim to leave Tosu for military service

Kyodo

Sagan Tosu’s South Korean midfielder and captain Kim Min-woo said Monday he is leaving the J. League first-division side at the end of the season to begin his military service.

“It would have been great if I could have stayed longer but I have to return home,” the 26-year-old said. “I’ve experienced many things over seven years. The support at Tosu was beautiful.”

Kim, who joined Sagan in 2010 when they were in the second division, said winning the club’s first promotion to J1 in his second season was his most memorable moment.

A farewell ceremony for the left-footed midfielder, who has 19 goals in 159 games in the top flight, is scheduled for Saturday, when Tosu plays its last league home game of the season against Yokohama F. Marinos.

Tosu is far out of contention at 12th in the overall standings, but remains alive in the Emperor’s Cup. It hosts Sanfrecce Hiroshima on Nov. 12 in the round of 16.

“He is a member of the squad who matured hand-in-hand with Tosu. We’d like to send him out on the grandest stage possible,” said club president Minoru Takehara.