Azkals star James Younghusband retires from football
MANILA, Philippines — After 15 years of playing for the Philippines and in local club football, James Younghusband is hanging up his playing boots.
The 33-year old Younghusband announced his decision to end his playing career on his social media accounts on Thursday.
“Time to say goodbye,” penned Younghusband who was a part of the historic 2010 Suzuki Cup team that revitalized football in the country. “Thank you for the amazing memories. I have loved playing this game.”
“Thank you to my family, bosses, managers, coaches, team mates, opponents and all my supporters who have been part of my professional career.”
Younghusband is the older brother of fellow Azkals star Phil who also retired the previous year.
The younger Younghusband is busy raising a family back in England and is also coincidentally in his 15th year of football in this country after coming over from the Chelsea youth teams and other English sides.
James represented the country 101 times and scored a total of 13 goals. He also played for club squads San Beda, Loyola Meralco Sparks, Davao Aguilas, and Ceres where he won three championships.
Younghusband scored 54 goals for his various clubs.
In the recent webcast of Filoil Flying V Presents Usapang Football, hosted by this author, James hinted that the end was near although he did say he would like to be connected to the sport in some way whether it be through coach, clinics, or management.
He even postulated about coaching the Azkals one day “if the timing and experience is just right.”
“After you turn 30, you think, ‘Oh, I don’t have long left.’ In football terms, time flies by,” said the 33-year old Fil-British footballer during the webcast last Monday, June 22.
“Obviously, with this pandemic, the plan was to play out this year with Ceres and then re-assess. I had a great time last year with Ceres where we won a double. I decided to stay for one more year then this pandemic happened. We’ll see what happens when football is allowed to play.”
Less than three days later, Younghusband came to the decision about moving on from his playing career.
Following the success of 2010, brothers James and Phil put up The Younghusband Football Academy with their late manager, Cathy Nazareno, who passed away from cancer earlier this year, and coach Jojo Durian.
“I feel lucky to have experienced wonderful memories and thankful for every moment of my time with my clubs and country."