A word or two on Jay Bothroyd’s twilight years in the Land of the Rising Sun  

Anyone curious enough to have a look at how Jay Bothroyd is getting on in the Japanese top-flight will be shocked to see that the former Cardiff striker seems to be playing with the ease and grace of a man half his age. Bothroyd, now 38, can’t go on forever and logic tells you that retirement is the next milestone in his career, but there’s no sign yet of the sun setting on his playing days.  And what a career it has been, with Bothroyd playing for as many as 12 different clubs since he became a professional in 2000. Indeed, it has been a career that has taken him from London to Perugia , before ending up at Cardiff, then finally on to the Far East with stints in Thailand and now the J-League in Japan. 

In many ways, it’s been a strange old ride at times with the common denominator being that Bothroyd has a tendency to fall out with people around him. When he speaks of Mick McCarthy and calls him a 'clown manager' you are inclined to believe that he is susceptible to confrontation. After all, his last act in an Arsenal shirt was to throw it at his coach Don Howe after being replaced in a Premier League Youth Cup final when he was 18 years old. The next thing Bothroyd knew was that the Gunners had sold him to Coventry. 

Despite it being a productive time in Japan with Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo, it hasn’t been one that has produced any silverware. It must be said, though, that it is proving impossible to stop Kawasaki Frontale from their current domination of the J-League. The latest odds on Japanese soccer as far as the winners of the J-League go will show Kawasaki Frontale at outrageously short odds of 1/33 to defend their title.  With that in mind, you can understand the enormity of the task that awaits Bothroyd and his Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo teammates every season.  That is, of course, the same for every J1 team as they try and make their mark on the league. 

Whether Jay Bothroyd will still be playing by the time Kawasaki Frontale are toppled remains to be seen. The Englishman’s contract is up at the end of January 2022. If it is to be the end, that will mean that Bothroyd would have spent the longest that he has at any club over the course of his career. The smart money, however, would be on a contract extension for Bothroyd. Indeed, something just says that the lanky striker will carry on plying his trade in the J-League well into his 40s.


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