Japanese Non-league Football News

Chugoku League Prefectural Play-offs
FC Ube Yahhh-man from Yamaguchi and Okayama's NTN Okayama have gained promotion to the Chugoku League for the 2008 season. The two clubs made their way to the final of the Prefectural Leagues Play-off tournament that was staged in Okayama over last weekend. Both sides have been amongst the strongest teams in their local prefectures for a number of seasons, but had previously failed to negotiate the play-offs; they will now hope that they can make the step up to playing Regional League football. Below is a full list of participants and results from the play-off competition.


FC Ube Yahhh-man FC宇部ヤーマン (Yamaguchi)
Fuji Xerox Hiroshima 富士ゼロックス広島 (Hiroshima)
Genki SC 元気SC (Tottori)
Hamada FC Cosmos 浜田FCコスモス (Shimane)
Hiroshima Teachers 広島教員 (Hiroshima)
Iwakuni SC 岩国SC (Yamaguchi)
Iwami FC 石見FC (Shimane)
Kibi International Industry 吉備国際工華 (Okayama)
NTN Okayama NTN岡山 (Okayama)
Tottori KFC 鳥取KFC (Tottori)

Preliminary Round

Sat 10 Nov: Hamada FC Cosmos 1-1 Hiroshima Teachers (PK 5-6)
Sat 10 Nov: Kibi International Industry 2-0 Iwami FC

First Round

Sun 11 Nov: FC Ube Yahhh-man 4-1 Genki SC
Sun 11 Nov: Fuji Xerox Hiroshima 0-1 Kibi International Industry
Sun 11 Nov: Hamada FC Cosmos 0-0 Tottori KFC (PK 2-4)
Sun 11 Nov: NTN Okayama 7-1 Iwakuni SC


Mon 12 Nov: FC Ube Yahhh-man 1-0 Kibi International Industry
Mon 12 Nov: Tottori KFC 1-3 NTN Okayama


Mon 12 Nov: NTN Okayama 2-0 FC Ube Yahhh-man

Chugoku League
The Chugoku League season concluded last Sunday with champions Fagiano Okayama running in four goals without reply against their closest challengers, FC Central Chugoku. This means that the Pheasants have won all seventeen league matches this year, conceding only four times in the process, and they go into the Regional League Championship Winners' Play-off tournament later this month among the favourites to gain promotion to the JFL.

Renofa Yamaguchi pipped Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku to third place thanks in part to a 3-2 win in their match, whilst in the bottom half of the split table, Hiroshima Fujita SC and neighbours Mazda SC drew and bottom side Hitachi Manufacturing Kasado picked up a rare victory at the expense of JFE Steel Western Japan.

Top Half

Sun 28 Oct: Fagiano Okayama 4-0 FC Central Chugoku
Sun 28 Oct: Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku 2-3 Renofa Yamaguchi

Bottom Half

Sun 28 Oct: Hiroshima Fujita SC 2-2 Mazda SC
Sun 28 Oct: JFE Steel Western Japan Fukuyama 2-3 Hitachi Manufacturing Kasado

Top Half

1. Fagiano Okayama 51 (+85)
2. FC Central Chugoku 34 (+13)
3. Renofa Yamaguchi 25 (-4)
4. Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku 21 (-5)

Bottom Half

5. Hiroshima Fujita SC 24 (-2)
6. Mazda SC 22 (-8)
7. JFE Steel Western Japan Fukuyama 11 (-27)
8. Hitachi Manufacturing Kasado 9 (-52)
Chugoku League
Fagiano Okayama remain on course for a perfect season in the Chugoku League, as in the penultimate match of the season they gained a comfortable 3-0 win over Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku that constituted the Pheasants' sixteenth victory in sixteen league games. The other match in the top half of the table during the current phase of play-offs saw FC Central Chugoku draw 2-2 with Renofa Yamaguchi.

Meanwhile in the bottom half, Hiroshima Fujita SC and their crosstown neighbours Mazda SC continue to give a good account of themselves as they picked up easy wins over JFE Steel Western Japan Fukuyama and Hitachi Manufacturing Kasado to leave the latter two clubs stranded at the foot of the standings. It has already been announced, though, that they are safe from relegation as no clubs will be demoted from the Chugoku League this season as it expands to ten teams in 2008.

Top Half

Sun 21 Oct: Fagiano Okayama 3-0 Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku
Sun 21 Oct: FC Central Chugoku 2-2 Renofa Yamaguchi

Bottom Half

Sun 21 Oct: Hiroshima Fujita SC 3-1 JFE Steel Western Japan Fukuyama
Sun 21 Oct: Mazda SC 5-1 Hitachi Manufacturing Kasado

Top Half

1. Fagiano Okayama 48 (+81)
2. FC Central Chugoku 34 (+17)
3. Renofa Yamaguchi 22 (-5)
4. Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku 21 (-4)

Bottom Half

5. Hiroshima Fujita SC 23 (-2)
6. Mazda SC 21 (-8)
7. JFE Steel Western Japan Fukuyama 11 (-26)
8. Hitachi Manufacturing Kasado 6 (-53)
Chugoku League
Sunday saw the first fixtures in the two sets of Play-offs that have been introduced for 2007 in the Chugoku League, with all the games this weekend being played on neutral territory in Hamada, Shimane prefecture. The format is such that, at the end of the regular eight-team, fourteen-game season, the top four and bottom four sides then participate in their own round-robin group mini-tournament in order to decide the final placings.

Fagiano Okayama won all their matches in the season proper and not surprisingly continued in the same vein, beating Renofa Yamaguchi 5-1 to take an early advantage over FC Central Chugoku, 2-1 winners over Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku. In the bottom section, last-placed team Hitachi Manufacturing Kasado were well-beaten by Hiroshima Fujita SC and Mazda SC defeated JFE Steel Western Japan.

Top Half

Sun 07 Oct: FC Central Chugoku 2-1 Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku
Sun 07 Oct: Renofa Yamaguchi 1-5 Fagiano Okayama

Bottom Half

Sun 07 Oct: Hiroshima Fujita SC 4-0 Hitachi Manufacturing Kasado
Sun 07 Oct: JFE Steel Western Japan 1-2 Mazda SC
Chugoku League
In the last round of the Chugoku League season proper, Fagiano Okayama duly retained their 100% record for the whole year by beating their nearest challengers FC Central Chugoku. Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku just held on to third spot by the narrowest of margins, despite a remarkable 7-5 defeat at Renofa Yamaguchi. Hiroshima Fujita SC pulled themselves up into mid-table thanks to a win over neighbours JFE Steel Western Japan and promoted side Mazda SC will be pleased with their first season back at Regional level. They won 1-0 against Hitachi Manufacturing Kasado in the final match before the play-offs begin on 7th October.

Sun 09 Sep: FC Central Chugoku 0-2 Fagiano Okayama
Sun 09 Sep: JFE Steel Wester Japan 2-3 Hiroshima Fujita SC
Sun 09 Sep: Mazda SC 1-0 Hitachi Manufacturing Kasado
Sun 09 Sep: Renofa Yamaguchi 7-5 Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku

1. Fagiano Okayama 42 (+74)
2. FC Central Chugoku 30 (+16)
3. Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku 21 (-)
4. Renofa Yamaguchi 21 (-1)
5. Hiroshima Fujita SC 17 (-8)
6. Mazda SC 15 (-13)
7. JFE Steel Western Japan 11 (-23)
8. Hitachi Manufacturing Kasado 6 (-45)
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