TOKYO - Former Japan World Cup striker
Takayuki Suzuki has promised to play for free this season after
being unveiled by J.League second division club Mito Hollyhock
The 35-year-old, who scored Japan's first goal of the 2002
World Cup as co-hosts, had played minor league soccer in the
United States since 2008 and initially planned to switch to
"My aim is to get Mito into the J.League first division.
That's all," Suzuki told a news conference.
"I heard the club had financial difficulties so I asked to
play on an amateur contract," added the bleached-blond striker,
who has also had spells in Belgium and Serbia.
Suzuki agreed to join Hollyhock, in Ibaraki Prefecture,
north of Tokyo, after hearing about their plight following the
devastating earthquake and tsunami on March 11.
Formerly of J.League power Kashima Antlers, also based in
Ibaraki, the local-born Suzuki said: "I'm really happy to be
able to play back at home again."
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