As the 2015 J2 League season rolls on, English striker Jay Bothroyd has continued to produce on the pitch for his club Jubilo Iwata as well as contribute off the pitch to those in need.
The 33-year-old helped Jubilo to their first home win in four games on July 18, scoring the lone goal of the fixture against fellow promotion candidates JEF United Chiba in the 81st minute. After being named Man of the Match, the former Cardiff man declared his intention to donate the 100,000 yen ($800) prize to charity, as he has done twice previously this season.
“I think it’s important for people that are fortunate to help the less fortunate,” Bothroyd told Football Channel when asked about his decision. “I went to where the [March 2011] tsunami was this week and it really opened my eyes.
“Such a horrific disaster destroyed people lives homes and belongings and now they are rebuilding. Me donating this money is just to help where it can and I will continue to do so every time I’m named Man of the Match.”
Bothroyd is tied for the team scoring lead with 10 goals for Jubilo, who are unbeaten in their last five games and at 47 points have a solid grasp on the second and final automatic promotion spot.
“[Manager Hiroshi] Nanami has used and rotated players so well this season everyone has played their part, but I must say that [midfielders] Takuya Matsuura and Yoshiaki Ota have really made a big difference.”
With a match against last-place FC Gifu approaching, the former Cardiff and QPR attacker admitted that Jubilo have not always had it easy against so-called smaller clubs.
“It not so much that we lose focus, it’s just that we sometimes find it hard to adapt from game to game,” Bothroyd said. “There’s the game [against JEF] where both teams believe they can win, and then there’s playing a team towards the bottom who put everyone behind the ball and only play for one point.
“The J2 is very competitive this year and I think that has shown, with other big teams losing the same way we have against the smaller teams.
“There are big expectations for Jubilo, and rightly so. Because we are one of the biggest clubs in Japan, every team that plays against us treat it as a cup final. We need to improve our consistency and that comes with time.”