Heading into pre-season Pacific FC have signed Canadian international Issey Nakajima-Farran. The 34-year-old attacker brings a wealth of professional and international experience to the Island outfit.
“Issey is another experienced guy with a lot of experience both from the national team and abroad and again a big asset,” explained Pacific FC head coach Michael Silberbauer. “Still looks very fit and he is going to be fighting like everybody else to get into the team.”
The winger converted striker sees this opportunity as a chance to lead a young team as well as boost a growing soccer culture that is set to shine throughout Canada beginning in April.
“I hope that I can help these younger players and just really start that football culture,” stated Nakajima-Farran.
Nakajima-Farran’s story is a unique one, born in Calgary, Alberta to an English-Zimbabwean Father and Japanese Mother. As a youngster the family moved to Japan and then onto England where Nakajima-Farran began pursuing his dream of becoming a professional footballer with former Japanese giants Tokyo Verdy and English Premier League side Crystal Palace.
Nakajima-Farran signed his first professional contract with Japanese side Albirex Niigata which began his footballing journey throughout the world. The winger impressed with Albirex Niigata’s second side notching 26 goals in 45 appearances, earning a move across to Denmark’s first division to pursue the highest level.
“I was in Denmark playing against the coach [Pacific FC head coach Michael Silberbauer], I played against him quite a few times,” explained Nakajima-Farran. “I was chasing Champions League, got up to UEFA Cup [UEFA Europa League] but didn’t quite reach there. My career has kind of taken me on a different course.
“I always had this interest to see the world and see cultures of what football has to offer,” said Nakajima-Farran. “I mean it’s the same language when it comes to football, it is the most popular sport.”
Nakajima-Farran traveled the world playing across four continents and in nine different countries. The forward moved on from Denmark to feature in Australia, Cyprus, then onto a brief stint in Canada with MLS sides Toronto FC and Montreal Impact–winning the Canadian Championship with the latter.
Following the Cup win, the forward moved abroad once again to play in Malaysia’s first division with CF Suburense, Terengganu and Pahang scoring 41 times across 76 appearances.
The converted striker has racked up an impressive 332 appearances netting 118 goals thus far in his career.
Nakajima-Farran decided to represent his birth nation of Canada, debuting against Hungary in 2006. This launched an international career with the Canucks that included 38 appearances and one goal for the red and white.
With a great deal of playing experience under his belt, the attacking threat looks at a new dawn for Canadian soccer and the Island’s own Pacific FC.
“We have a big footballing community, we just didn’t have that foundation,” stated Nakajima-Farran. “People love football, so with the right foundation it will grow out of control and people will love being part of it.”
As potentially the oldest player in the league, Nakajima-Farran is embracing the title as he prepares for the inaugural season of the Canadian Premier League (CPL).
“Being the oldest player in the league will be new for me but, I still feel young, I feel fit,” said Nakajima-Farran. “I still seem to hit the goal, so when I stop scoring obviously it will be time to quit. I’ve got a point to prove, that my diet and my lifestyle is more long term.
“I want to teach these guys from a young age to get into good habits,” continued Nakajima-Farran. “Good habits do mean a lot and I hope I can rub that off to the younger players.”
Nakajima-Farran arrived recently on Vancouver Island and feels more at home than ever on the West Coast.
“I’ve been here 10 days to explore and see around here, I can’t believe I didn’t know about this place before,” exclaimed Nakajima-Farran.
ABOUT PACIFIC FOOTBALL CLUB
Founded in 2018, Pacific Football Club brings professional football to Vancouver Island. Playing out of a renovated, 6000-seat Westhills Stadium in Langford, the club will provide an outlet for Canadian soccer players to compete at the professional level of the sport on home soil. Fans will be able to enjoy the thrilling, fast-paced sporting atmosphere associated with the sport when the Canadian Premier League season kicks off in April 2019.
For season ticket information: https://pacificfc.canpl.ca/pacific-football-club-ticketing
ABOUT THE CANADIAN PREMIER LEAGUE
Canadian Premier League (CPL) is Canada’s professional men’s soccer league set to debut on April 27, 2019. Playing in world-class and unique venues, and partnering with strong community-led ownership groups, the CPL is a league for Canadians by Canadians that will bring professional soccer to communities coast-to-coast.