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Friday, 21 November 2008

Norwegian Ace Johnsen Set to Leave Grampus

Numerous media reports suggest that Norwegian striker Frode Johnsen will be leaving Nagoya when his contract expires in January.

Japan Times: Jonsen expected to leave Nagoya
NikkanSports (Japanese): Johnsen announces departure from Nagoya, hopes to play in Japan again next year

While this news has come as a shock to many Grampus fans, the likelihood of this happening has been on the cards for some time. Johnsen has clearly settled into live in Japan, and had clearly stated his hope to play another year, hopefully with Nagoya.

However, it seems the club has decided not to renew the 34-year old's contract. On the one hand, Frode has been an important part of Nagoya's success this year, and his hard-working, professional approach, an example to other players. On the other hand, he will be 35 next year, and has faded as an influence in the latter half of the season. We can only hope that this decision, means that the club is confident it has a suitable replacement ready to sign (or resign, if say, the replacement were to be Yohei Toyoda.) This must have been a tough decision for the club to make, but one we hope will not backfire on the team and see Johnsen scoring against the club in a crucial match next year.

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