Yokohama F. Marinos midfielder Kosuke Nakamachi announced on Wednesday his intent to continue his career in Zambia after turning down a two-year contract extension with the J. League first division side.
The 33-year-old, who joined Marinos in 2012, revealed his decision in a post to his Instagram account.
“If I have the support of the Marinos family, I feel like I can work hard no matter how far away I am or how much adversity I might face,” Nakamachi wrote. “That is the level of affection I have felt over the last seven years.”
The former Shonan Bellmare and Avispa Fukuoka player’s message accompanied an undated video which depicted him playing with children in Zambia. Nakamachi wrote that since 2013, he has worked with a charity run by a college classmate which donates soccer balls throughout the region.
“I have seen the smiles of children who play without shoes who have never received brand-new soccer balls,” Nakamachi wrote.
“If I can bring joy to others by playing soccer, it adds so much importance to what I do.”
Nakamachi did not reveal the name of his new club as his contract is yet to be finalized. Should his transfer complete, he would become the first Japanese to play in Zambia since Yo Matsuo, the former City of Lusaka striker who currently manages Tokyo Verdy’s junior youth squad.
Yokohama confirmed Nakamachi’s departure later on Wednesday.