Soccer / J. League

Nathan Burns leaves Sanfrecce to return to A-League


Australian striker Nathan Burns will leave Sanfrecce Hiroshima and return to the Australian A-League, the J. League first-division club announced Sunday.

According to the Wellington Phoenix website, the 29-year-old Australian signed a two-year contract with his former club. In the 2014-2015 season, he was Wellington’s top scorer and won the Johnny Warren Medal as the league’s best player.

“I’ve had some very positive experiences overseas, in Japan but also playing with the (Australian) national team, but I’m ready to come back,” Burns told Wellington’s website.

“With the (January window) opening I’ve had plenty of offers from A-League and around Asia but when I heard Phoenix were keen that was my first choice.”

Burns, a member of Australia’s 2015 Asian Cup-winning squad, joined FC Tokyo in 2015 after parting with the Phoenix. In 32 J. League games, however, he has scored just three goals.

He joined Hiroshima in July following the expiration of his FC Tokyo contract, but played in no league games for either team. Sanfrecce finished fourth from the bottom this season.

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