Japanese Non-league Football News

Looking Ahead To The Play-offs
With the 2005 Regional League seasons now virtually wrapped up, the attention of all fans of the non-league game in Japan is now very definitely on the Regional League Championship Winners Play-off, to decide which teams will be promoted to the JFL for next year. Although this is the 28th year in which an equivalent competition has been staged, some commentators are going so far as to say 2005 is in effect the inaugural tournament.

This is because the relationship of some clubs further down the pyramid structure with the J-League itself has been developed by the idea of preparing for J-League entry over the next few years, with one consequence being that the JFL is now viewed by a number of ambitious teams simply as one step on the road to the ultimate dream of league membership and professional football. Last year, for example, only two of the participants were organised as independent companies with the specified aim of gaining admission to the J-League. In 2005, however, no fewer than nine of the thirteen clubs taking part have either confirmed outright that they are seeking to join the J-League, or have gone some way down the road to creating an organisational structure that will later enable them to submit a suitable application.

01 Nov 05 - Luminozo Sayama

Kanto League champions and outsiders for a JFL place, Luminozo Sayama

The format of the tournament, which is to be held in Kyushu and Shikoku, divides in a rather ungainly fashion the thirteen entrants into four groups, who each play a round robin. The winners of each group then reconvene a week later and play another round robin, the top two of which will automatically gain entry to the JFL. However, it's worth bearing in mind that at this level of the game, decisions can be made and unmade very quickly and a year ago Honda Lock finished in third place behind Mitsubishi Mizushima and Ryutsu Keizai University - and yet ended up being promoted anyway, when Kokushikan University withdrew from the JFL and thus created an unexpected vacancy.

Japanese Non-league Football News will naturally be keeping a very close eye on the play-offs at the end of the month, but for the time being, here is a fixture list of matches in the four groups:

25/11/2005 FC Ryukyu - Luminozo Sayama (Group A)
25/11/2005 Rosso Kumamoto - Fagiano Okayama (Group B)
25/11/2005 Nagano Elsa - JEF United Amateurs (Group C)
25/11/2005 Norbritz Hokkaido - TDK Akita (Group C)
25/11/2005 Shizuoka FC - Nangoku Kochi (Group D)

26/11/2005 FC Ryukyu - Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku (Group A)
26/11/2005 Rosso Kumamoto - Grulla Morioka (Group B)
26/11/2005 Nagano Elsa - Norbritz Hokkaido (Group C)
26/11/2005 JEF United Amateurs - TDK Akita (Group C)
26/11/2005 Shizuoka FC - Banditonce Kobe (Group D)

01 Nov 05 - Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku

The happy smiling faces of Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku

27/11/2005 Luminozo Sayama - Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku (Group A)
27/11/2005 Fagiano Okayama - Grulla Morioka (Group B)
27/11/2005 Nagano Elsa - TDK Akita (Group C)
27/11/2005 JEF United Amateurs - Norbritz Hokkaido (Group C)
27/11/2005 Nangoku Kochi - Banditonce Kobe (Group D)

The second stage a week later will consist of the following matches:

02/12/2005 Group A winner - Group B winner
02/12/2005 Group C winner - Group D winner

03/12/2005 Group A winner - Group C winner
03/12/2005 Group B winner - Group D winner

04/12/2005 Group A winner - Group D winner
04/12/2005 Group B winner - Group C winner

01 Nov 05 - Banditonce Kobe

Aiming for the J-League, Banditonce Kobe. On guard!

Hokushinetsu Challenge League 2005

25/09/2005 Niigata Teachers FC (Niigata prefecture) 2-4 Azalee Iida (Nagano)

02/10/2005 Azalee Iida 1-5 LionPower Komatsu (Ishikawa)

09/10/2005 Maruoka Phoenix (Fukui) 3-1 Azalee Iida

23/10/2005 Maruoka Phoenix 3-2 LionPower Komatsu
23/10/2005 Azalee Iida 4-3 Tateyama Bears (Toyama)

30/10/2005 Maruoka Phoenix 3-2 Tateyama Bears
30/10/2005 LionPower Komatsu 1-1 Niigata Teachers FC (PK 2-4)

??/??/???? Niigata Teachers FC 0-4 Maruoka Phoenix
??/??/???? Tateyama Bears 1-3 LionPower Komatsu
??/??/???? Tateyama Bears 2-2 Niigata Teachers FC (PK 4-2)

01 Nov 05 - Azalee Iida

Kawaii! Azalee Iida!

Maruoka Phoenix win the Challenge League and are therefore promoted to the Hokushinetsu League Second Division for 2006. LionPower Komatsu finish second and therefore participate in a promotion / relegation play-off with Giocatore Takaoka.

Division 2 & Challenge League Promotion / Relegation Play-off

??/11/2005 LionPower Komatsu 3-0 Giocatore Takaoka

LionPower Komatsu therefore gain promotion to Hokushinetsu League Division 2 for the 2006 season. Giocatore Takaoka are relegated to the Prefectural Leagues.

01 Nov 05 - LionPower Komatsu

Ishikawa Prefectural League champions LionPower Komatsu
Tohoku League Division 1 Results 2005
第29回 東北社会人サッカーリーグ1部

01/05/2005 NEC Tokin 2-3 FC Primeiro
01/05/2005 TDK Akita 1-2 Grulla Morioka
01/05/2005 Wiese Shiogama 1-1 Morioka Zebra

08/05/2005 FC Primeiro 2-5 Grulla Morioka
08/05/2005 TDK Akita 7-1 Morioka Zebra
08/05/2005 Wiese Shiogama 1-2 Nippon Steel Kamaishi

TDK Akita 2005

The TDK Akita squad for 2005

15/05/2005 FC Primeiro 1-1 TDK Akita
15/05/2005 Morioka Zebra 1-2 Nippon Steel Kamaishi
15/05/2005 NEC Tokin 0-4 Wiese Shiogama

22/05/2005 NEC Tokin 2-1 Morioka Zebra
22/05/2005 TDK Akita 1-0 Nippon Steel Kamaishi
22/05/2005 Wiese Shiogama 1-1 Grulla Morioka

05/06/2005 Morioka Zebra 0-0 Grulla Morioka
05/06/2005 Nippon Steel Kamaishi 0-1 NEC Tokin
05/06/2005 Wiese Shiogama 1-2 FC Primeiro

12/06/2005 TDK Akita 4-0 Wiese Shiogama

19/06/2005 FC Primeiro 2-0 Morioka Zebra
19/06/2005 Nippon Steel Kamaishi 0-5 Grulla Morioka
19/06/2005 TDK Akita 4-1 NEC Tokin

26/06/2005 FC Primeiro 1-0 Nippon Steel Kamaishi
26/06/2005 NEC Tokin 0-5 Grulla Morioka
26/06/2005 Wiese Shiogama 2-2 TDK Akita

19 Jun 05 - NEC Tokin and Grulla Morioka line up before their Tohoku League Division 1 match

NEC Tokin and Grulla Morioka line up before their league match

03/07/2005 FC Primeiro 3-0 NEC Tokin
03/07/2005 Grulla Morioka 1-2 TDK Akita
03/07/2005 Morioka Zebra 1-4 Wiese Shiogama

10/07/2005 NEC Tokin 3-0 Nippon Steel Kamaishi
10/07/2005 TDK Akita 3-0 FC Primeiro

17/07/2005 Grulla Morioka 5-2 FC Primeiro
17/07/2005 Morioka Zebra 0-5 TDK Akita
17/07/2005 Nippon Steel Kamaishi 1-5 Wiese Shiogama

18/09/2005 Nippon Steel Kamaishi 1-1 Morioka Zebra

19/09/2005 Wiese Shiogama 1-1 NEC Tokin

25/09/2005 Grulla Morioka 2-1 Wiese Shiogama
25/09/2005 Morioka Zebra 2-2 NEC Tokin
25/09/2005 Nippon Steel Kamaishi 2-5 TDK Akita

02/10/2005 FC Primeiro 1-1 Wiese Shiogama
02/10/2005 Grulla Morioka 2-0 Morioka Zebra

02 Oct 05 - FC Primeiro on the attack against Wiese Shiogama

FC Primeiro on the attack against Wiese Shiogama

09/10/2005 Grulla Morioka 4-0 Nippon Steel Kamaishi
09/10/2005 Morioka Zebra 2-1 FC Primeiro
09/10/2005 NEC Tokin 0-1 TDK Akita

16/10/2005 Grulla Morioka 4-1 NEC Tokin

23/10/2005 Nippon Steel Kamaishi 2-1 FC Primeiro

Final Ranking

1= Grulla Morioka 29pts (GD +26)
1= TDK Akita 29 (+26)
3 FC Primeiro 17 (-3)
4 Wiese Shiogama 14 (+4)
5 NEC Tokin 11 (-15)
6 Nippon Steel Kamaishi 10 (-19)
7 Morioka Zebra 7 (-19)

Grulla Morioka and TDK Akita jointly win the championship and therefore qualify for the Regional League Championship Winners Play-off. Morioka Zebra will participate in a play-off with the losers of the Division 2 promotion play-off, Tono Club, to decide the final membership of the Tohoku League Division 1 in 2006.
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