Monday, 12 August 2013

Omiya sack their manager after losing 0-3 to Cerezo

Omiya are still 4th while we should take no small amount of confidence into the next few games with this performance. This was Omiya's fifth straight defeat and signalled the end of manager Zdenko Verdenik's time in charge after leaving Omiya in 4th place (they have never finished above 12th in the top flight) and going on a J.League record unbeaten run of 21 games. What's the big idea? Omiya were league leaders back in April but apparently there will be an announcement from the club later which will do well to justify such a move. Moving swiftly on to more positive things and the second goal is becoming Kakitani's trademark, assured first touch and a calm finish. Simplicio put in a good shift today too. After this game Cupli challenged Kakitani to stay near or on top of the goalscoring charts and disappear in games less often while Kakitani himself said he wants to win J1 with Cerezo. Home supporter tickets are in very short supply for the next game against Shimizu S-Pulse on the 17th. Enjoy the highlights below and for all who come on Saturday, bring the noise!

Friday, 9 August 2013

Tut-tut, a bit of booing at the end of our loss to Ventforet Kofu

A game were expecting to win but after a couple of poor results hopefully Kakitani's goals will stop us from freefalling but we are in danger of missing one of our best chances in recent seasons to finish with a spot in the ACL. Kusakami started his first league game since joining us and was our most impressive player. We tried or were instructed to intricately pass our way directly through the Kofu team whilst on numerous occasions while our full-backs waved their arms in despair. One of the key successes of our way if playing is the width provided by our full-backs, which does leave us vulnerable with four at the back, but we didn't use them enough today. Culpi took off Kakitani and Kusukami a few minutes after Ventforet's Akito Kawamoto put the away side a goal up with what proved to be the winner. An odd change as Kusakami was looking dangerous throughout. A change of tactics would have been better especially after the nth attempt of playing through the middle was dealt with by Ventforet. A few fans in Kincho Stadium were booing at the end despite this being a young team needing support and, be fair to them, they aren't flirting with relegation like last season.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Kakitani Documentary

Interesting, more so if you can understand the Japanese, sorry no plans to add English subtitles. But you get see how the hype started with a teenage Kakitani impressing at the U17 World Cup a few years back and the ups and downs of his career since then. This was shown before another great tournament performance from him in South Korea in the East Asian Cup.


Albirex Niigata 1 - 0 Cerezo Osaka

This was a game we were expecting to at least come away from with a point but after Edno spurned our best chance created by Kakitani we were left with nothing as another bit of dodgy goalkeeping from Jin-Hyeon presented the ball to a grateful Kentaro Ohi who wrapped up the 3 points for Albirex. This video shows highlights of the all the recent J.League games with a focus on the returning heroes from the East Asian Cup in South Korea where Zaccheroni was successful with an experimental squad. Kakitani scored 3 goals in the two games he started including a brace that sealed victory for Japan. Yamaguchi was named player of the tournament while Ogihara also made his debut for the national team. From a Cerezo point of view this has raised the profile of the young players making it tougher to hold on to them when foreign clubs start their approaches. But another way of looking at it is that now they are under pressure to be consistent performers which will only help us in the league this season. After that who knows? The Cerezo highlights start at 03:24 on the video and are followed by a chat with Kakitani.

Cerezo Osaka 4 - 1 Sagan Tosu

An entertainingly open game and there could have been more goals but for the woodwork and of course the goalkeepers. Spreading the goals around a bit this game with the player of the East Asian Cup tournament Yamaguchi scoring the first after Kakitani's persistence. Sakemoto scored a bit of a fluke goal before Sagan Tosu scored their only goal of the game. Yokoyama got our third and had a fine game in a midfield lacking Simplicio anchored by him and Ogihara allowing Yamaguchi to play further forward. Defender Yamashita scored the fourth which was also a just reward for his recent performances deputising for Moniwa.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

9 match unbeaten run ends in injury time away to Hiroshima

Champions and current 2nd place team Hiroshima kept going in a fairly even match with chances for both teams but a slight error in judgement from Jin-Hyeon in the 95th miniute delighted the home crowd. Prior to the game this was billed as a battle between Cerezo's Kakitani and Sanfrecce's Sato both of whom are in double figures for goals this season and both missed chances to add to their tallies. We remain in 6th and face Sagan Tosu who are just above the relegation spots in 15th at home on Wednesday. In other news Zaccheroni has named Yamaguchi, Ogihara and Kakitani in his East Asian Cup squad so let's hope they can win their first caps for the national team. The cup means a short break in the J1 schedule during which we will be facing the travelling Manchester United pre-season friendly circus. 

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Consistency in the league but knocked out of the Nabisco Cup

Zaccheroni was at Kincho for this one as he saw Kakitani put us ahead with a typically cool finish after he was put through superbly by Minamino who did enough to ensure he'll be starting a few more games this season. We looked fairly comfortable despite Yokohama hitting the woodwork on a couple of occasions. Yokoyama came in to fill Ogihara's defensive midfield position and did really well alongside Yamaguchi. Yamashita worked hard in a defence that looked happy to tackle for once. Jin-Hyeon was taken off just after the hour mark after a clash of heads, something similar happened to him a couple of seasons back and he was ruled out for a few weeks, but he should be back for our next game this time. Simplicio picked his spot from outside the box to wrap up the win despite Marquinhos's late header. Looking good in J1 then although we limped out of the Nabisco Cup Quarter finals that hasn't affected our run in the league. Next up is Hiroshima away.

No, no, no! No nicknames on kits please "Bomber"

Yokohama fans brought the noise and someone had a cymbal to accompany the drums

13272 in attendance as a few sections were sold out


Tatsuya's Tale part 1

Hi My name is Tatsuya. I'm 24 years old. I quit my job and came to England to play football. I've played football in level 4 in Japan. When I arrived England, I didn't belong to any team. So I needed to look for teams first. I walked around to find a team everyday. Then I found 2 teams. The first team was Wembley FC. This team was in the news last year because they got some very famous old players to play in the FA Cup last season. So I met Claudio Caniggia who played with Maradona for Argentina in the World Cup and also Terry Venables who played for Chelsea and managed FC Barcelona. I didn't know who they were. When I found out I was surprised! Also I was surprised when I arrived training ground, although they are amateur team, they have a small stadium.

Then my first training started. I was nervous. Because I don't understand English yet. But I tried desperately to understand. I think technique is no problem for me. But everyone is bigger than me. Also very muscular. So I have to move more quickly. Also physical contact is more severe compared to the J-league! I have not seen anything like it in Japan.

The second team was Wingate&Finchely FC. This team is level 7 in England. They also have a stadium. Also If we want to watch the game, even level 7 we have to pay money! My first goal is to play in level 7 in England. So I want to play in this team next season.

But level 7 is a higher level than my team in Japan. Physical contact is more severe, also the playing speed was very fast. So I have to move while thinking very quickly.

But I could play well. I think I will show my strong points. But I have to train more. I haven't yet reached my final goal. I also tried to play for Barnet FC which is level 4 in England. There Edgar Davids is Player-manager. So I asked him if I could play. Then he said to me 'Are you serious?' So I said 'Yes'

Then he read my CV carefully. But I didn't play. But he read my CV. So maybe he knows about me!

I've been in England for 2 months now.

England is the best football country. Everyone plays football in the park everyday. So I can play football everyday. I'm happy to play football in such a country. From now I'm going to play football!

次のチームはWingate&Finchely FCです。このチームはイングランドの7部で、専用のグラウンドはもちろん、試合観戦には入場料が必要なくらいです。僕の第一目標は、イングランドの7部でプレーすることです。しかし7部といっても、日本で所属していたチームよりもレベルは高いと思います。競り合いも激しい上に、動き出しの速さ、考えるスピードも速く、いかに考えながら素早くプレーできるかを求められましたが、初練習の時、調子がすごく良く、自分の長所をアピールすることができたと思います。しかし僕の最終目標はここではないので、もっとトレーニングに励まなければなりません。実はもうひとつ、バーネットFCというチームを見つけたんですが、国内4部のプロチームで、駄目元で行っちゃえと思って履歴書持って行ったんですが、そこにはあの元オランダ代表のダーヴィッツ選手が選手兼監督でいました。ビビりながらもダーヴィッツ選手に話しかけここでサッカーがしたいと言うと、最初「お前マジか⁈」みたいな感じでした。まぁたしかにそうなるなと思いながらも「マジです!」と答えると、丁寧に僕の履歴書を読んでくれました。そこから色々あったんですが結果的には練習参加はできませんでした。でもまたいつか挑戦したいと思います。
イングランドに渡って2ヵ月が経ち、いつも思うことですが、さすがサッカーの母国だなと。なぜなら公園に行けば、必ず誰かがサッカーをしているからです。なのでサッカーがしたければ公園に行き'I want to play football'と言えば誰でもサッカーができます。そんな国でサッカーができることが幸せです。では練習にいってきます!

Early doors of the decade may be best for part-time Vale supporters

English: Micky Adams (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Vale Park, home of Port Vale F.C., July 2006 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If you want to enjoy being a part-time supporter of England’s Port Vale Football Club (like I am) – the best time to do so tends to be in the early years of a decade.

I know football fans are weird about lucky pants, shirts, hats, socks etc – but what about times .

For a long time a group of us at Port Vale used to miss the kick-off in an apparent protest at the Saturday kick-off time being moved from 3.15pm to 3.

It probably actually had more to do with staying in the pub longer than protesting but it was a bit shameful the number of times all the turnstiles were shut and we had to pay a late gate and go down the tunnel just as the players were coming off for half-time.

However, the 2012-2013 season proved to be one of those early decade delights (some statto will probably prove all this is nonsense) as Vale were promoted from League Two to League One (really the Fourth Division to the Third Division).

They also finished as top scorers in the English divisions with the top individual goal scorer all divisions – local boy Tom Pope (a bit like a bargain basement Shinji Kagawa really).
Next time a Cerezo fan is in England we are obliged to pay a visit to Burslem

Port Vale fans collected the money for club legend Roy Sproson's statue for 10 years
Despite these stats, as usual, Vale did not give us a smooth ride as ‘easy’ games were lost and goals given away at the death. To keep the roller coaster going they would also win 5-2 at Fleetwood and beat Burton Albion 7-1 at home. You never knew for certain which Vale would turn up.

After topping the division and then slipping Vale secured elevation to the next division against promotion rivals Northampton Town with a last minute own goal by former Vale player Lee Collins in a 2-2 last home game of the season.

In fact the ‘Law of the Ex’ – which holds that ex-players coming up against you always stop you winning (keeper’s/defenders) or score the goal that beats you (anyone really – was truly reversed by Lee and by Burton’s ex-Vale keeper Stu Tomlinson in that thrashing at Vale Park.

This was a season started with the club in administration with a mysteriously abandoned takeover leaving manager Micky Adams with uncertainty over everyone’s contracts – and even if there would be a club to finish the season.

After most players agreed new revised contracts and the ground finally got safety certificates (following hard  work by the fans) the first non-friendly fixture ended in a 3-1 Capital One (League) Cup defeat – albeit against Championship side Burnley.

Vale also lost a behind-closed-doors friendly (because of the lack of safety certificates in the chaos at the club) to Coventry City of League One.
Things looked better after a 3-0 first home win over Barnet but then there was the 2-0 defeat at Accrington corrected by a 3-1 win at Morecambe.
We were travelling around Japan to miss a truly purple patch as Vale won 2-0 in the Johnsons Paint Trophy (we call it the underpants or Paint Pot cup unless we win it) at Tranmere, beat Rotherham 6-2 at home, won 3-1 at Plymouth and 5-2 at Fleetwood.
Of course the biggest home crowd of the season – 6,978 – turned up to see now-promotion rivals Gillingham win 2-0 at Vale Park.
Winter saw a series of wins and draws punctuated by the occassional defeat take Vale to the top end of the table with Tom Pope banging in the goals and keeper Chris Neal producing excellent form behind the defence.
October also saw the administrators name Sheffield businessman Paul Wildes and partner Norman Smurthwaite as preferred bidders to take the club out of administration.
Inbetween Vale had gone to old rivals – and bogey team – Walsall in the Paint Trophy and gone 2-0 down, come back to 2-2 and then won it with a penalty converted by young rookie keeper Sam Johnson after all outfield players on both sides had taken penalties in the shootout. Amazing.
Micky Adams was named League Two Manager of The Month and Tom Pope player of the month.
Even the programme front covers looked incredibly good with fantastic retro artwork by US artist Paine Proffitt from Burslem’s Barewall Art Gallery.
The back covers were not as impressive as Vale’s small squad took up much less space than their opponents – a result of administration, lack of money and restrictions on transfers in.
It couldn’t go on could it? Yes it could and by December the Vale fans’ excellent fanzine ‘Derek I’m Gutted’ was headlined ‘Another New Era”.
Inside ‘Derek’ led off: “Second in the table, still in the FA Cup, a mere three successful ties away from Wembley in the Paint Pot Trophy (aka the JPT) , and a brave new world about to arrive in the form of Paul Wildes’ takeover.”

Actually the takeover followed the usual winding Vale road of delays for FA clearance but the small squad of players had kept up the good work and the statue of the Vale player who had played the most games for the club – Roy Sproson – was finally unveiled after many delays.
The takeover went through hours before a 4-0 home win over Bristol Rovers and then goal-machine Pope signed a one year extension to his contract.
All was not smooth sailing though as. About 3,000 Vale fans went to League One Sheffield United in the FA Cup to see Vale lose a 1-0 lead in the 90th minute and concede another to lose the tie in the 95th minute.
A second cup exit came with a 2-0 home defeat in the Paint Pot against Bradford City. To be fair City were on a bit of a cup binge – beating Premiership Arsenal, Aston and Wigan in the League (Capital One) Cup before losing to another top tier team – Swansea – in the final at Wembley.
The New Year started badly with a 2-0 home defeat to Fleetwood (yes the same Fleetwood where Vale went to win 5-2 earlier in the season) but Micky Adams started to bring in players at last – in the shape of experienced centre half Darren Purse and ex-Vale (and ex-LA Galaxy and Trinidad and Tobago international) Chris Birchall.
A 4-0 home win over Plymouth was followed by the arrival of controversial striker Lee Hughes after he was released by Notts County. Fans somewhat ambivalent in view of him serving jail time for causing a death with his driving.
At Gillingham Vale got revenge for their home defeat with a 2-1 win before left back Danny Jones arrives from Sheffield Wednesday and the pattern continues of wins and draws punctuated by disappointing draws and defeats.
As the end of the season approaches Vale fans outnumber the home fans at Rochdale but concede a last minute goal for a draw and then it is on to the drama against Northampton.
English: Vale Park, Burslem.
English: Vale Park, Burslem. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Much joy as promotion is secured but that nagging feeling that all may not be well as Paul Wildes walks away from the club in the close season after disagreement with Norman Smurthwaite (Papa Smurf) and Norman is left running the show.
Most players have agreed to stay at the club  except for club captain Doug Loft (at the time of writing) and Vale fans are looking forward to the higher division and games against local and local(ish) teams such as Wolves, Walsall, Coventry and Shrewsbury. It is still early the decade so perhaps it might not be quite the right time for the part-time supporter to disappear.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

7 game unbeaten run in J1! Cerezo 2 - 1 Nagoya Grampus

Edno scored his first goal in the J-League as we rode our luck a tad on our way to getting 3 points. Another entertaining game and I'm glad the Grampus fans got to see a Kennedy consolidation goal as they really added to a fantastic atmosphere. Kakitani got our second after a sublime first touch from Edamura's through ball. He's now joint top of the J1 goalscorers charts with two other players. Grampus hit the woodwork twice during the course of the game but it's now becoming clear that Culpi may be close to replicating his ACL qualifying formula before his first retirement a couple of seasons back. There's now a one month break in J1 but we face Urawa Reds on the 23rd and 30th this month in the quarter finals of the Nabisco cup. This match was sold out possibly thanks to a half-time appearance from FC Nuremberg and former Cerezo midfielder Kiyotake.

Brilliant support from Nagoya

Kincho Stadium sold out

Where does one buy a Cerezo microphone?

Saturday, 25 May 2013

We finish top of our Nabisco Cup group! Cerezo 2 - 1 Kashima Antlers 1

A very unexpected goal, he showed composure and a stunning finish in the 2nd minute. Who am I talking about? Edno! Congratulations on his first goal and actually looking like a footballer. Culpi dropping him for a few games seems to have done wonders although I would still like to see Sugimoto start for the time being. Edno was subbed before the end of the match as his reverted to his usual anonymous footballer role. Antlers, who started the day at the top of the standings, then equalised but that man Kakitani popped up again to ensure our passage to the league cup quarter finals in pole position. To be fair he did more than just pop up, he ran with the ball from our half and as the Antler's players closed in smacked in the winner from just outside the box.

J1 Kashiwa Reysol 1 - 3 Cerezo Osaka May 18th

We conceded first after another spell of choosing not to tackle anyone. Yamaguchi equalised with a free-kick that the Reysol keeper misjudged badly. Kakitani wrapped things up for us adding to his impressive tally this season with a brace that keeps Cerezo hovering around the ACL spots. Have we found consistency at last?

Cerezo Osaka 2 - 1 Sagan Tosu Nabisco Cup May 15th

A poorly attended Wednesday week night cup match despite the promise of a place in the quarter finals after this victory. Sagan Tosu scored in the first minute but this actually gave us something to chase and play for from the start so we did well. Maruhashi equalised with a great free-kick and teenage sensation Minamio grabbed the winner to leave us second in our group.
Nicest fans in Japan, the poor attendance revealed that away fans in Kincho now have seats instead of a grassy knoll

Our view of the Maruhashi free-kick, he's the one just under the beer person's nose

Kawasaki Frontale 2 - 2 Cerezo Osaka

Highlights of the match in J1 on May 11th with goals for Cerezo from Edamura and Simplicio. Ex-Cerezo favourite Okubo got a brace for Frontale and while his father was ill and sadly passed away the next day.


Saturday, 11 May 2013

Cerezo Osaka 2 - 2 Urawa Reds

Both teams were evenly matched and a draw was always on the cards but it was by far the most entertaining game this season. Golden week, discount tickets and Urawa Reds helped to fill Nagai Stadium with 32,378 people enjoying the match. The Reds supporters didn't cause any problems this time except for their usual uncourteous (for Japanese football fans) behaviour. Sugimoto's strike and all round play means Edno will be on the bench for the foreseeable future. As usual at home after taking the lead we always look like letting the other team back into the game. Also our policy of not tackling or defending corners properly allowed Urawa to take the lead. Yamaguchi equalised and after that both he and Simplicio came close with long range efforts. Very positive signs from this game although our lack of width is worrying especially for Sugimoto who would thrive on some decent crosses. Hopefully playing away at Kawasaki Frontale will give us a chance to build on this performance and cement our position in the top half of the table.

Football fans and/or wannabe hooligans

They're not scarves BTW they're called "towel mufflers"

Keeping things in order

Monday, 6 May 2013

Shonan Bellmare 0 - 3 Cerezo Osaka

Again Edno didn't start and this time didn't come off the bench either so I'm starting to wonder whether we night be loaning him out to a J2 team this season (he himself is on loan to us from the Mexican club Tigres but we've done similar things before). But on to more positive things we scored 3 great team efforts with Kakitani grabbing two to put him on 6 league goals this campaign ( 6 more than Edno...sorry!) and Yamaguchi getting the other. Sugimoto looked really comfortable and was on the same wavelength as his team-mates as he was involved in all of the goals. Next up this Golden Week Urawa Reds visit Nagai Stadium and we're all hoping their fans are on their best behaviour after Shimizu.

Amazing 3 - 3 draw at the renamed Noevir Stadium in Kobe

Kobe play in J2 this year which means no away trip with Cerezo to their lovely stadium and my usual pre-match trip to the Hobgoblin pub, Chinatown and the German beer and currywurst shop. As J2 games are held on Sunday (when an English breakfast is 999yen) I went down and saw a marvellous comeback from Fagiano Okayama as they scored 3 in the space of 10 minutes with the last coming in injury time to leave Kobe still leading J2 but their fans slightly miffed (there were boos at the final whistle). Fagiano is the Italian for pheasant in case you were wondering about Okayama's name. Noevir is a make-up company as the stadium has it's third sponsorship change in as many years. This is one that builds on the great women's team INAC Kobe Lionessa which features many of the national team players. Fans that made the trip were given a free sample of face cream. Kobe will welcome Gamba Suita at the Noevir for their Golden Week Kansai Derby.

The flag waving didn't put off the penalty taker although finally the Okayama fans went home happy

The "Renewal Open" Kincho Stadium witnesses a goalless draw against Oita Trinita

Oita Trinita currently languish at the bottom of J1 but left with a point despite hitting the woodwork in quick succession. To be fair to Cerezo they did manage a pretty decent 16 shots this game whilst always looking susceptible to an Oita counter. Edno was dropped today for the first time but looked lively when brought on. As usual our brightest spark throughout was Kakitani who seems likely to leave this summer with Dortmund being touted as one possible destination. This was the first game this season in the slightly revamped Kincho Stadium with a larger standing section behind the goal which our fans celebrated by chipping in together to pay almost a million yen for a new banner.
If you wear the away colours in this section you can't watch the game, new rules this season.
Locals show their support

Trinita supporters gave it their all to help lift their team

Cerezo Osaka 1 - 2 Omiya Ardija

League leaders Omiya left with 3 points as they scored very early and very late on with our only goal coming from Kakitani. Shin Kanazawa scored from just past the halfway line after spotting Kim Jin-Hyeon off his line about 22 seconds into the game. An expected result as we are still trying to work out our best system (perhaps something with a striker who can score would help?) while the squirrels on the other hand are comfortably beating all comers at the moment.

Sitting, or standing in this case, pretty at the top of J1


Sunday, 7 April 2013

Kashima Antlers 1 - 0 Cerezo Osaka

It's been a while since Jin-Hyeon made this kind of blunder and unfortunately it cost us today as we suffered our first defeat in the league when it allowed Yasushi Endo to score the winner in the 58th minute. Some of our early season performances haven't warranted the points we've been getting so it's no surprise about the result although the manner of the loss is frustrating. FC Tokyo visit Osaka for a Nabisco Cup match on Wednesday night.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

2nd with a 100% record...after 3 games

Didn't make it to the game but these highlights (and commentary if you understand Japanese) can't really do justice to a couple of crucial offside decisions leading to a goal for Cerezo's Hotaru Yamaguchi and one disallowed for FC Tokyo. Next game is in the Nabisco Cup against Grampus in Nagoya. That's on Wednesday 20th at 4pm as it's a public holiday here in Japan to celebrate the Vernal Equinox.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Notching up 2 wins in 2

A great start from us led to a Kakitani goal after some fine work from Sugimoto early on. Leaving Hugo unmarked in the 6 yard box after a corner could only mean a Kofu equaliser later in the 1st half. Culpi might have been annoyed with the two Brazilians Edno and Simplicio who both picked up yellow cards just before half time and were taken off at the interval with Edamura and Minamino replacing them. The promising teenager hit the post in the 79th minute and Yamaguchi was well placed to slam home the rebound. This was a vast improvement on what we saw last week. Not a great performance though but we have a 100% record so no complaints! Next up is another team with two wins in two, FC Tokyo. They travel down from the vast overcrowded soulless metropolis that is Tokyo to the vibrant, friendly, foodie Osaka.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

A partridge amongst the pigeons

This obviously made me chuckle, nice subtitle and he's in pink and navy!

Cerezo kick off the season with a win

Kakitani's calm finish secured an incredibly undeserved 3 points as Albirex will be wondering how they are going home with nothing. No outfield player for us performed particularly well as Jin-Hyeon had to be in top form to keep us in the game. Worryingly our new no.9 Edno “the Rock” lived up to his nickname by being a motionless inanimate object for most of the game before being subbed. Hopefully Culpi will change the starting line-up for the next game as quite a few players failed to impress but Ogihara's introduction added some urgency and bite to the midfield. An unexepectedly depressing moment came as we brought on the re-branded Branquinho who now goes by “Branco”. This is a guy we have on loan and we subsequently loaned to Yamagata in J2 as he proved to be largely ineffective last year. As he came on looking at his name on the scoreboard I thought it was a new signing until on closer inspection it turned out to be our unsuccessful loaned loanee sneaking back on to the pitch under a different name, very odd. In other news congratulations to Shinji Kagawa who grabbed a hat-trick in the early hours this morning for Man U against Norwich. Man U will visit Osaka in the summer for a friendly bringing with them overpriced tickets, an extra game in the middle of the J1 season and the Japanese superstar we sold for 350,000 Euros. All said and done we got 3 points but if we can't improve drastically we could well be flirting with relegation again. 


Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Highlights of the "Invitation Super Match 2013"

This match was against our Thai partner team Bangkok Glass FC as part of the pre-season training camp. It took place on the 7th of February in Thailand and finished 2-1 to us.

The "Glass Rabbits" Badge

Saturday, 2 February 2013

New uniform, 2013 fixtures and a reminder of why the number 8 is so important!

First match of the season in Nagai Stadium

New kit revealed

"Adventure" (Dancing Heart) Our slogan for this season

Here are the first set of fixtures in J1 with the kick off times available. The rest can be found here in Japanese. There's a pleasing number of Saturday afternoon games before summer and we start the season in Nagai Stadium. Golden week fixtures this year feature an away trip to Shonan Bellmare and Nagoya Grampus at home. Strange not seeing another Kansai team here as we keep our fingers crossed that Gamba can make it to the JFL this year. The new kits are looking good. New signing Kusukami has the number 10 while Kakitani inherits the number 8 once worn by club legend Hiroaki Morishima. No number 9 yet as the club have yet to finalise the Edno Cunha signing. Pre-season we're heading to Thailand to face our partner club Bangkok Glass on the 7th this month. Click here for more information on the partnership.

 Albirex Niigata
 Ventforet Kofu (A)
 FC Tokyo
 Vegalta Sendai
 Kashima Antlers (A)
 Omiya Ardija
 Shimizu S-Pulse (A)
 Oita Trinita
 Shonan Bellmare (A)
 Urawa Reds
 Kawasaki Frontale (A)
 Kashiwa Reysol (A)
 Nagoya Grampus
 Jubilo Iwata (A)
 Yokohama F. Marinos
 Sanfrecce Hiroshima (A)
 Sagan Tosu
 Albirex Niigata (A)
 Venforet Kofu
 Omiya Ardija (A)
 Shimizu S-Pulse
 Nagoya Grampus (A)
 Vegalta Sendai (A)
 Kawasaki Frontale