Jay Bothroyd finally settled in an unlikely destination – Japan

Jay Bothroyd would likely be among the first to admit he has had a career resembling that of a typical journeyman footballer. His path to Japan has been a long and winding on the journey on the road called professional footballer which has taken him to 12 clubs, 4 countries and 2 continents.

Out of the 12 clubs Bothroyd has represented, from the outside he has only looked settled at Cardiff City; where he spent some time captaining the side with the highlight of his Cardiff career coming in getting them into the playoffs. He would be described as nomadic for the rest of his playing career that was until he arrived at what will most likely be the final destination of his playing career – Japan. Since he joined Jubilo Iwata in the J-2 League he has become an unlikely cult figure in an unlikely final destination to end his career.

What may have helped Bothroyd in becoming a cult here in Japan, was the decision to ditch the name Bothroyd on the back of his shirt for his new sexy Brazilian sounding name – Jay. How he managed to end up in Japan though is an interesting story, after leaving QPR when his contract ended; he had no club for 6 months.  Then he got an offer to go and play in the top Thai league with Muangthong United. Muangthong is one of the top 2 clubs in Thailand and often compete with Buriram for the title. After he ended his year contract in the kingdom of smiles he decided against re-signing a new one with the aim of moving to a more professional league. He then accepted the offer on the table from Jubilo Iwata in Japan.

Bothroyd settled well in Japan and helped Jubilo Iwata win promotion to the J-1 league which is the top level in Japan. The form he showed in helping Jubilo Iwata getting promoted made other clubs take a look at him and Hokkiado Consadole Sapporo decided to take the punt on signing him. Jay has since developed an exciting attacking partnership with Sapporo’s other new foreign import, Thai star Chanathip Songkrasin. That partnership is only going to improve as the league continues and Sapporo are currently powering up the league right now.

Jay formally is known as Bothroyd looks to have finally found somewhere where he can feel settled in the twilight of his career ensuring he only needs to concentrate and focus on playing football. There isn’t any doubt his previous experiences playing abroad have helped him hit the ground running in Japan as well as the J-League having a very professional set up.

This week Jay formally known as Bothroyd stated he would love it, absolutely love it…just love it (Keegan reference) if he becomes the first ever English player to lift a trophy in Japan. He already has scored more goals than Gary Lineker but if he does lift a tinpot his current cult hero status would turn to hero worship.

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