One of Mito's most famous homegrown stars is moving on to a new club after 4 years. He's played wonderfully and improved incredibly, joining the National U-22 team and is a likely member of the year's Olympic team.
He'd been rumored to be headed to a J1 club for some time, but most assumed it would be a rental. Yokohama's pockets are deep, though, and he allowed a full buyout. As of yet, the number of years on the new contract is unstated.
His final comment to Mito fans:
「4年間本当にありがとうございました。水戸での4年間は自分にとって、すごく充実したものでした。しかし、その中でもっと上を目指したいという気持ちが強くなり自分の中で移籍を決意しました。 4年間自分を支えてくれたサポーター、ファンの皆さんにはとても感謝しています。新天地でも、十分持ち味をだし、皆さんの期待に応えられるよう頑張るので、 これからも小椋祥平をよろしくお願いします。」 "I truly thank you for the past four years. For me, these 4 years at Mito have been incredible. However, even saying that, my desire to move above and beyond has grown stronger and I made the personal decision to move. I feel so grateful for the supporters and fans who cheered me over these years. Even in my new environment, I'll put forth my best, and put forth such effort that everyone can still cheer for me, and from now on still be the Shohei Ogura always at your service."