Sittichok heads to Ryukyu for second chance in Japan

Chonburi striker Sittichok Paso has signed a loan deal with J2 side FC Ryukyu as he returns to Japan for a second spell.

Four years older and wiser than when he headed to Kagoshima United as an 18-year-old, Sittichok will hope to make a bigger impact this time around.

He will also aim to prove a more reliable goal scorer than he has been since returning to Thailand as he has struggled to find the net on a regular basis in his various loan spells away from the Sharks. However, Sittichok has developed his all-round game and can play in a deeper role as a second striker.

By agreeing to let him leave as they slide down the T1 table, Chonburi seem to be indicating that they do not have enough belief in the player to help them in a relegation battle. On the other hand, they may be hoping that another loan spell will be the making of him and help him to finally fulfil the potential that convinced Kagoshima to take him to Japan in 2017.

Sittichok has scored twice in the 2020-21 league campaign, both of which came during his loan spell at Trat in the first half of the season. One of those goals was a sensational strike from inside his own half at Prachuap.

Sittichok joins fellow Thais Chanathip Songkrasin and Theerathon Bunmathan in Japan, though his compatriots will be playing in J1 for Consadole Sapporo and Yokohama F. Marinos respectively.

FC Ryukyu’s latest signing could not be much further away from Chanathip, with his new club based in the tropical climes of the southern island of Okinawa. The 22-year-old will certainly rack up the air miles with his club almost 1,000 kilometres away from his old team in Kagoshima, which is already in the far south of the country.

He will have to wait for the green light to make the trip as Covid-19 restrictions limit travel options. The Okinawan club kickoff their 2021 campaign at home to Jubilo Iwata on February 28th, but it seems certain that Sittichok will not be able to play a part until a few weeks into the season.

Paul Murphy

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