EXCLUSIVE: Terengganu's Issey doesn't see himself donning Canada's colours again

Canada's loss is Terengganu's gain this season, as fan favourite Issey Nakajima-Farran voices his full commitment to taking the Turtles back up to the Super League.

BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter


Terengganu should able to look forward to getting fan favourite Issey Nakajima-Farran all to themselves this season.

When met by Goal following their pre-season friendly against Kedah at the UKM Mini Stadium in Bandar Baru Bangi on Monday, the Canada international confessed that he feels that his international football days maybe over, although he stopped short of mentioning any plans to retire from the international front.

In February 2016, the winger received a call-up from Canada for their friendly against the United States. He came on at the start of the second half in the match, which they eventually lost 1-0 due to a last-gasp goal by Jozy Altidore.

"With the (Canada) national team, it's a new young squad coming in. We missed out on the World Cup qualifying by just a few points.

"Apart from guys my age, 30's, 30's and above, the guys playing for (Turkish side) Besiktas and all the big clubs obviously. Canada are in transition, so all they players are coming through now, there's a new head coach, it's a brand new Canada.

"Personally I think my time (with Canada) is done, but I'll also keep proving myself in Malaysia and hopefully the goals will speak for themselves," admitted the 32-year old.

Despite this, the winger sees no trouble performing at the highest level for the Turtles, when asked about the possibility of ending his career with Terengganu, when the time comes.

"I feel young, I think I still look young. So no matter what my age is, as long as I perform on the pitch age is not an issue, and I think I can prove that in the next four, or five years in Malaysia," he vowed.

And the midfielder only has the Turtles' quick return to the Super League on his mind, when asked on his personal target for the coming season.

Nakajima-Farran signing a young fan's jersey following the friendly against Kedah

"It's to get the team back up, that's it. (There's) nothing more important than getting the team back up in the Super League.

"That's why I stayed, that's what I've committed for, that's how I want to continue my time in Terengganu," added Nakajima-Farran.

Goal also inquired about his brief falling-out with new head coach Irfan Bakti Abu Salim in December, due to his temporary absence from the start of the pre-season training, which coincided with the Christmas period.

According to the winger, it was all a misunderstanding due to the transition in the team management at the time.

"I was always fully committed to the club, last year I had been given the okay to come back after Christmas, it's usually family time.

"But there was the transition between the managements, and things got a little bit complicated and there was a misunderstanding. Now everything's cleared up and we're getting back on track," explained the former Toronto FC man.

This season Terengganu are in the second tier following a horrendous 2016 season that included the firing of two coaches, which culminated in relegation to the Premier League.

However this season they managed to secure the return of former head coach Irfan, who led them to the 2011 Super League and FA Cup titles in his previous stint.

And with Nakajima-Farran still on board and giving his full commitment this season, perhaps Terengganu fans will be celebrating their return to the Super League at the end of this season. 

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