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Inamoto wants to make it big in England

last updated Thursday 22nd May 2003, 4:02 PM
Fulham midfielder Junichi Inamoto
Fulham midfielder Junichi Inamoto
Junichi Inamoto Stories
Japan international Junichi Inamoto is confident he can make it big in England despite a patchy debut season with Fulham.

Inamoto struggled to nail down a first team place with the Cottagers after an impressive start to his loan spell with the Premiership strugglers.

The 23-year-old's hopes of securing a permanent deal with the club were dashed last week when Fulham said they planned to extend his loan period by one more season.

But Inamoto refuses to be disappointed by the setback and believes he can still forge a career in England after earlier being cast aside by Arsenal despite his heroics for Japan in last year's World Cup.

"Overall it was a very good season for me," Inamoto said. "I played some games and I got used to the speed and power of the Premier League. It gives me confidence to keep playing in the league."

Inamoto started his season spectacularly with a stunning hat-trick as the west London side beat Bologna in the final round of the Intertoto Cup, but his season subsequently has been hit by injury and fitness problems.

Fulham's reluctance to commit to a permanent deal could reflect the fact that they have appointed Chris Coleman as their new manager following the departure of Jean Tigana last month.

But Inamoto is satisfied with the loan deal and has now set his sights on playing in Japan's friendlies in May and June.

"Hopefully, I can show good performances to be named for the regular starting line-up," said Inamoto.

Japan will play South Korea on May 31, Argentina on June 8 and Paraguay on June 11.
Source AFP
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