Is Warriors' Toda retiring?

The former Japan international and Tottenham Hotspur man, who was signed as the uniformed giants' marquee player last season, might not be staying at the club next year
Recent rumours that Warriors FC midfielder Kazuyuki Toda will retire has been making the rounds, after the conclusion of the S.League season on November 8.

With the former Japan international's contract expiring at the end of the current campaign, there has been talk that the 35-year-old will call it a day and hang up his boots.

When Goal Singapore contacted Warriors general manager Chong Wei Chiang on Tuesday, he indicated that the club has also heard of the speculation but will meet up with the player himself to clarify the situation.

"I have been told by others as well (about Toda being due to retire)," Chong indicated. "But I have not heard from Toda himself, in which we would have a meet up next week."

Chong, who confirmed the expiry of Toda's contract, also stated that the club is not likely to have a marquee player next year.

"I have always left the selection of players to the head coach," he continued. "Unfortunately, Alex [Weaver, coach] would prefer not to have [a] marquee signing for the next season."

Toda arrived to much fanfare as a signing under the marquee player scheme in January and was unveiled at the Jalan Besar Stadium alongside then coach V. Selvaraj.

A prominent member of the Japanese national set-up in the late 90s and early 2000s, Toda turned out for the Samurai Blue at the 1997 Fifa World Youth Championship and the 2000 Olympics football competition. The defensive midfielder was also a key part during Japan's 2002 World Cup campaign.

He also had a short loan spell at English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur and was plying his trade for F.C. Machida Zelvia in the Japanese second division prior to the move.

But he failed to set the S.League alight during the season and struggled with injury midway through, although he recovered to play his part as the uniformed giants finished seventh.