Former Sagan Tosu midfider in Europa League League action

When an Asian player gets that move to Europe you often look at England, German or Spain for that player. However, with Montenegro side Iskra who finished third in their countries national league we see two Japanese players plying their trade in Kōhe Katō and forward Sho Yamamoto. 

Japan link to Eastern Europe 

This week Iskra made it through to the first qualifying round for the Europa League where they will face Bulgarian side Lokomotiv Plovdiv.

They did this without the former Sagan Tosu man Katō but their Japanese forward played the first 80 minutes as his side were taken to penalties by Andorran side FC Santa Coloma. Despite the scare they did get through in very picturesque surroundings. 

Sho Yamamoto the forward for the club is someone am sure not many fans of football in Japan even know about as he has played his full professional career between Montenegro and Serbia. He is in fact in his second loan spell with Iskra, from Serbian side Spartak Subotica.

The Tokyo man though found his way to Montenegro as a youngster and started his footballing career with the countries second division side FK Cetinje. Sho Yamamoto is an unknown to most but after a bit of research, we discovered the player headed to Spain after leaving school.

It was there where he played with a Spanish fifth division and he said on the experience “I learnt a lot about the basic skills of positioning, judgment, playing with the ball at feet, and trapping and kicking a ball”

Then after scoring eight goals in 31 matches, it was decided he would move to FK Cetinj in the Montenegro First Division, this was at the age of 18-years-old. It is clear that he is eager to succeed in Europe and could still be one to look out for. 

As for Kōhe Katō, he did not get a chance to play this week but the former Sagan Tosu man is enjoying his later years of football playing out in Eastern Europe. He is well travelled too having played in Bulgaria, Japan, Montenegro and Poland. 

The 31-year-old has not played in Europe since his time in 2016 in Bulgaria so am sure he will be hoping to get a chance next week when his side takes on Lokomotiv Plovdiv. 

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