Japanese Non-league Football News

Hokkaido League Scores
Sun 18 May: Barefoot Hokkaido 1-2 Toyota Motors Hokkaido
Sun 18 May: Blackpecker Hakodate 8-0 SSS Shefield
Sun 18 May: R Superb Kushiro 0-2 Clubfields Norbritz Hokkaido
Sun 18 May: Sapporo FC 2-0 Sapporo Winds

Sat 24 May: Blackpecker Hakodate 1-1 R Superb Kushiro
Sat 24 May: Clubfields Norbritz Hokkaido 1-1 Barefoot Hokkaido
Sat 24 May: Sapporo FC 9-0 SSS Shefield
Sat 24 May: Toyota Motors Hokkaido 6-1 Sapporo Winds

Sun 25 May: Barefoot Hokkaido 1-1 Sapporo FC
Sun 25 May: Sapporo Winds 5-2 Blackpecker Hakodate
Sun 25 May: SSS Shefield 2-1 R Superb Kushiro
Sun 25 May: Toyota Motors Hokkaido 1-1 Clubfields Norbritz Hokkaido

1. Sapporo FC 10 (+12)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
2. Clubfields Norbritz Hokkaido 8 (+6)
3. Toyota Motors Hokkaido 7 (+5)
4. Blackpecker Hakodate 5 (+5)
5. R Superb Kushiro 4 (-2)
6. Barefoot Hokkaido 3 (-1)
7. Sapporo Winds 3 (-5)
8. SSS Shefield 3 (-20)

Hokkaido League
The 2008 Hokkaido League season begain on Sunday, champions Clubfields Norbritz Hokkaido kicking off with an easy win over promoted side SSS Shefield... the other newcomers, R Superb Kushiro, recorded an impressive 2-1 win over last year's runners up, Sapporo Winds...

Sun 11 May: Barefoot Hokkaido 3-3 Blackpecker Hakodate
Sun 11 May: Clubfields Norbritz Hokkaido 5-1 SSS Shefield
Sun 11 May: Sapporo FC 2-1 Toyota Motors Hokkaido
Sun 11 May: Sapporo Winds 1-2 R Superb Kushiro

1. Clubfields Norbritz Hokkaido 3 (+4)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
2. = R Superb Kushiro 3 (+1)
2. = Sapporo FC 3 (+1)
4. = Barefoot Hokkaido 1 (-)
4. = Blackpecker Hakodate 1 (-)
6. = Sapporo Winds 0 (-1)
6. = Toyota Motors Hokkaido 0 (-1)
8. SSS Shefield 0 (-4)
Hokkaido Block League Play-offs

The Block League Play-off Tournament in order to decide promotion to the 2008 Hokkaido League has been taking place over the weekend in the small provincial city of Obihiro. The four participants are simply the winners of the four local Block Leagues that comprise the second tier of club football in Japan's northernmost large island, the format of the competition being a straightforward round-robin group with the top two moving up to next year's Hokkaido League.

As such, they will replace Tokachifairsky Genesis and Hokushukai, both somewhat unlucky to be relegated given that there was only one point dividing the bottom four teams. That said, however, Tokachifairsky always struggled to come to terms with the higher standard of football during their two seasons at Regional level, despite receiving additional sponsorship money from the Genesis Entertainments Company; Hokushukai meanwhile go straight back down after having been promoted just twelve months ago.

The Play-off was won by R Superb Kushiro from the Eastern Block League, a club formed in 1999 and one who last participated in the Hokkaido League itself in 2005. Joining them in the local top flight next year will be the spectacularly named SSS Shefield from the Central Block around Sapporo, who did well to beat off the challenge of the more experienced Nippon Steel Muroran.

Central Block: SSS Shefield SSS シェフィールド
Eastern Block: R Superb Kushiro R . シュペルブ釧路
Northern Block: Kyokushukai 旭蹴会
Southern Block: Nippon Steel Muroran 新日鐵室蘭

Sat 06 Oct: R Superb Kushiro 2-0 Kyokushukai
Sat 06 Oct: SSS Shefield 3-2 Nippon Steel Muroran

Sun 07 Oct: R Superb Kushiro 2-0 Nippon Steel Muroran
Sun 07 Oct: SSS Shefield 8-0 Kyokushukai

Mon 08 Oct: Nippon Steel Muroran 5-2 Kyokushukai
Mon 08 Oct: R Superb Kushiro 6-1 SSS Shefield

1. R Superb Kushiro 9 (+9)
2. SSS Shefield 6 (+4)
3. Nippon Steel Muroran 3 (-)
4. Kyokushukai 0 (-13)
Hokkaido League
In the final round of the Hokkaido League season, champions Norbritz Hokkaido as expected were able to complete their fixtures with a 100% record thanks to a 1-0 win over third place side Barefoot Hokkaido. Separating those two teams in the final standings are Sapporo Winds, an impressive showing for a newly-promoted team - but their 3-0 defeat by Sapporo FC meant that they finished the year with three heavy losses.

That win by Sapporo FC in turn meant that they were able to jump out of the bottom two places in an exciting relegation battle. The regulations imposed by the Hokkaido FA in terms of promotion from the four Block Leagues are unclear, which means that Hokushukai and Tokachifairsky Genesis will potentially have to wait until the Block League Play-offs have finished to learn their fate. Hokushukai ended 2007 with a 1-1 draw against Blackpecker Hakodate that rather unluckily saw them slip to the foot of the table on goal difference, while Tokachifairsky may have done enough to save themselves by beating Toyota Motors Hokkaido.

Sun 07 Oct: Hokushukai 1-1 Blackpecker Hakodate
Sun 07 Oct: Norbritz Hokkaido 1-0 Barefoot Hokkaido
Sun 07 Oct: Sapporo Winds 0-3 Sapporo FC
Sun 07 Oct: Tokachifairsky Genesis 3-0 Toyota Motors Hokkaido

1. Norbritz Hokkaido 42 (+53)
2. Sapporo Winds 28 (+11)
3. Barefoot Hokkaido 20 (+2)
4. Toyota Motors Hokkaido 17 (-9)
5. Sapporo FC 14 (-11)
6. Blackpecker Hakodate 13 (-11)
7. Tokachifairsky Genesis 13 (-14)
8. Hokushukai 13 (-21)
Hokkaido League
There was a double header of fixtures over the weekend in the Hokkaido League, the chief outcome being that local top dogs Norbritz Hokkaido have confirmed their 2007 title win. With one game remaining, the former Hokkaido Electric Power side have won all thirteen matches so far this year, including 5-0 and 4-1 wins over Sapporo Winds and Sapporo FC respectively. In fact it was a bad weekend all round for Winds, in that as well as their heavy loss to Norbritz, they also went down 4-1 to Toyota Motors Hokkaido, taking something of a shine off what has been an excellent season for them following promotion.

If everything is sorted out at the top of the table, things could scarcely be tighter, though, at the bottom. Tokachifairsky Genesis have sunk to the foot of the standings after losing to Sapporo FC and Hokushukai, although any of that trio could find themselves in the Block Leagues next year. Blackpecker Hakodate are not out of the woods yet either, despite beating Toyota Motors Hokkaido and a draw at Barefoot Hokkaido.

Sat 08 Sep: Hokushukai 1-3 Barefoot Hokkaido
Sat 08 Sep: Sapporo FC 3-1 Tokachifairsky Genesis
Sat 08 Sep: Sapporo Winds 0-5 Norbritz Hokkaido
Sat 08 Sep: Toyota Motors Hokkaido 1-4 Blackpecker Hakodate

Sun 09 Sep: Barefoot Hokkaido 3-3 Blackpecker Hakodate
Sun 09 Sep: Hokushukai 4-3 Tokachifairsky Genesis
Sun 09 Sep: Norbritz Hokkaido 4-1 Sapporo FC
Sun 09 Sep: Toyota Motors Hokkaido 4-1 Sapporo Winds

1. Norbritz Hokkaido 39 (+52)
2. Sapporo Winds 28 (+14)
3. Barefoot Hokkaido 20 (+3)
4. Toyota Motors Hokkaido 17 (-6)
5. Blackpecker Hakodate 12 (-11)
6. Hokushukai 12 (-21)
7. Sapporo FC 11 (-14)
8. Tokachifairsky Genesis 10 (-17)
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