Japanese Non-league Football News

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Sagawa Printing Rewrite The (Coaching) Manual
Sagawa Printing, fresh from an eleventh place finish in the 2005 JFL, have made the stunning announcement that their new coach is to be none other than Hideki Matsunaga. Twelve months ago, Matsunaga had just made the step up to the big time with Vissel Kobe, having developed a reputation for his fine work as coach at Ventforet Kofu and previously been on the staff at Verdy Kawasaki and Shimizu S-Pulse. But he was rapidly - many would say unfairly - fired after Kobe's sluggish start to the season and now finds himself working his way back into the game at a far lower level.

So with the 2006 season just around the corner expected to be a nailbiter for many outfits at JFL level, it will truly be remarkable if the Kansai-based Sagawa Printing were transformed into contenders - but Matsunaga might just be the man to do it.

12 Jan 06 - The very delicious Hideki Matsunaga

The very delicious Hideki Matsunaga
Zweigen Decidin'
The Ishikawa FC organisation - previously mentioned here on JNFN as having been established towards the end of 2005, in order to oversee what's hoped to be the development of a J-League team in Ishikawa prefecture - have announced the name of the new club that will participate in the Hokushinetsu League 2006. Zweigen Kanazawa will evidently be based on the old Kanazawa SC side which failed so dramatically in the final stages of last season to make the Regional League Championship Winners Play-off for JFL entry - and indeed slipped into third position in the Hokushinetsu League Division 1 behind fellow J-League wannabes Nagano Elsa and Japan Soccer College, part of the youth set-up of nearby J1 outfit Albirex Niigata.

12 Jan 06 - Zweigen Kanazawa

Oooh, lovely - a nice Gothic font they've chosen

The name Zweigen comes from the inevitably bizarre amalgamation of the German words "zwei" (two) and "gehen" (to go), indicating the united advancement or progress of the team and the supporters. Both of these factors exist in something of a grey area at the moment, seeing as the selection process for squad members isn't scheduled to take place until 22nd January and are therefore some considerable distance from playing an actual match in front of any actual fans. Nevertheless, this hasn't stopped Ishikawa FC officials from lining up smaller sponsorship deals with the likes of Kirin Beer and Puma Japan. They've also succeeded in signing their very first pro player in the shape of local lad Masateru Tsujita, a 21-year-old defender tempted back to his home town by the prospect of helping to bring pro football to Kanazawa from the bright lights of Omiya Ardija reserves.

While with such backing it seems possible that Zweigen will be able to muscle themselves into a place among the frontrunners of teams challenging for a JFL place, the name of Grulla Morioka will immediately spring to mind as a well-financed team out in the regions of Japan that last year failed to make it out of their own local Tohoku League and into the JFL. A question mark now hangs over the future of Grulla, while a further cautionary tale dates back to 2004, when Okinawa Kariyushi's inability to win the Kyushu League meant that they subsequently fell apart. The more immediate question, though, is perhaps not what will happen to Zweigen, but rather to fellow Ishikawa prefecture club Ferverosa - another team at least notionally aiming at the J-League, but whose short- to medium-term future must be under some considerable doubt as the smart money for the local J-League franchise has suddenly shifted elsewhere.
Horikoshi Front Player To Kashiwa
While there is still no news available on the proposed new name for JFL side FC Horikoshi, two players have left the Gunma prefecture-based outfit for Kashiwa Reysol - newly relegated to J2 and predicted to have a tough year in 2006 following the departure of many of their own top squad members. Yohei Kurakawa is a 28-year-old forward previously with Yokohama F Marinos, who has spent two full seasons with Horikoshi, scoring ten goals in 54 games.

11 Jan 06 - Still going for the shirt-a-bit-too-big look, Yohei Kurakawa

Still going for the shirt-a-bit-too-big look, Yohei Kurakawa
JFL Fixtures
Fixtures for the 2006 JFL season will be issued on 24th February.
Honda Skipper Moves To Kofu
Honda FC captain Jun Uruno has been transferred to J1 new boys Ventforet Kofu. The 26-year-old Saitama native, who spent seven seasons with Honda in Hamamatsu, was named among the JFL's Best XI team for 2005.
Tokai Prefectural Leagues Promotion Play-off

First Round

14/01/2006 Match A - FC Kawasaki (Gifu prefecture) 2-1 FC Personna (Mie)
14/01/2006 Match B - Yamaha Motors (Shizuoka) 0-0 FC Goal (Aichi) (PK 7-6)
14/01/2006 Match C - KMEW Iga FC (Mie) 2-3 Fujieda Nelson (Shizuoka)
14/01/2006 Match D - Tokai Rika (Aichi) 0-1 Morishin's FC (Gifu)

Second Round

15/01/2006 FC Kawasaki 0-0 Yamaha Motors (PK 8-7)
15/01/2006 Fujieda Nelson 1-2 Morishin's FC

FC Kawasaki and Morishin's FC are therefore promoted to the Tokai League Division 2 for 2006
JFL Top Scorer Moves To Ehime
The JFL's top scorer from the 2005 season, Sagawa Kyubin Osaka's 26-year-old forward Hirokazu Otsubo, has joined J2 newcomers Ehime FC. Otsubo, who prior to moving to Osaka was previously with Tokushima Vortis forerunners Otsuka Pharmaceuticals, notched up an impressive eighteen goals in 26 league outings for the mid-table side.
Tohoku League Team List 2006
English name - Japanese name - 2005 finishing position

Division 1

Grulla Morioka - グルージャ盛岡 - Tohoku League joint champions
Morioka Zebra - 盛岡ゼブラ - 7th
NEC Tokin - NEC トーキン - 5th
Nippon Steel Kamaishi - 新日鐵釜石 - 6th
FC Primeiro - FC プリメーロ - 3rd
Sendai Nakata Club - 仙台中田クラブ - Divison 2 (South) winners
TDK Akita - TDK 秋田 - Tohoku League joint champions
Wiese Shiogama - ヴィーゼ塩釜 - 4th

04 Jan 06 - NEC Tokin pose with some young admirers

NEC Tokin pose with some young admirers

Division 2 (North)

FC Akita Cambiare - FC 秋田カンビアーレ - 2nd
Aster Aomori - アステール青森 - 4th
Fuji Club 2003 - 富士クラブ 2003 - Iwate Prefectural League champions
Hachinohe Kogyo High School OB - 八戸工業高校 OB - Aomori Prefectural League champions
Hokuto Bank - 北都銀行 - 5th
Mizusawa Club - 水沢クラブ - 3rd
TDK Shinwakai - TDK親和会 - Akita Prefectural League champions
Tono Club - 遠野クラブ - 1st

Division 2 (South)

Furukawa Battery FC - 古河電池 FC - 2nd
Kanai Club - 金井 クラブ - Yamagata Prefectural League champions
Kureha Chemicals - 呉羽化学 - 5th
Marisol Matsushima - マリソル松島 - 4th
Northern Peaks - ノーザンピークス郡山 - 3rd
FC Perada Fukushima - FC ペラーダ福島 - Fukushima Prefectural League champions
Shichigahama SC - 七ヶ浜クラブ - Miyagi Prefectural League champions
Yamagata FC - 山形FC - 6th

04 Jan 06 - Shichigahama SC's magnificent home stadium

Shichigahama SC's magnificent home stadium
Hokushinetsu League Team List 2006
English name - Japanese name - 2005 finishing position

Division 1

Ferverosa FC - フェルヴォローザ FC - 4th
Japan Soccer College - Japanサッカー・カレッジ - 2nd
Matsumoto Yamaga Club - 松本山雅クラブ - Division 2 winners
Nagano Elsa - 長野エルザ - Hokushinetsu League champions
Niigata University of Management - 新潟経営大学 - 7th
Teihens FC - テイヘンズ FC - 5th
Ueda Gentian - 上田ジェンシャン - 6th
Zweigen Kanazawa - ツエーゲン金沢 - 3rd (as Kanazawa SC)

04 Jan 06 - Ishikawa prefecture's Teihens SC

Ishikawa prefecture's Teihens FC. As you can see

Division 2

FC Antelope - FC アンテロープ - 8th, Division 1
FC Kanazu - FC 金津 - 6th
LionPower Komatsu - ライオンパワー小松 - Ishikawa Prefectural League champions
Maruoka Phoenix - 丸岡フェニックス - Fukui Prefectural League champions
Nissei Resin - 日精樹脂工業 - 5th
TOP Niigata - トップ新潟 - 4th
Toyama Shinjo Club - 富山新庄クラブ - 2nd
Valiente Toyama - ヴァリエンテ富山 - 3rd
Hokkaido League Team List 2006
English name - Japanese name - 2005 finishing position

ACSC Asahikawa - ACSC - 3rd
Barefoot Hokkaido - ベアフット北海道 - 4th
BlackPecker Hakodate - ブラックペッカー函館 - 2nd
Norbritz Hokkaido - ノルブリッツ北海道 - Hokkaido League champions
Sapporo Football Group - 札幌蹴球団 - 5th
Thank FC - サンクFCくりやま - 6th
Tokachi Fairsky - とかちフェアスカイ (ex-Rude Boys - ルードボーイズ) - Eastern Block League winners
Toyota Hokkaido - トヨタ自動車北海道 - 7th

06 Jan 06 - The dream gift for the non-league geek: a Thank FC shirt

That dream gift for the non-league geek: a Thank FC shirt
Chugoku League Team List 2006
English name - Japanese name - 2005 finishing position

FC Central Chugoku - FCセントラル中国 - Shimane Prefectural League champions
Fagiano Okayama - ファジアーノ岡山 - 2nd
Hiroshima Fujita SC - 広島フジタ SC - 3rd
Hitachi Kasado - 日立笠戸 - 4th
Ishimi FC - 石見FC - 5th
JFE Steel - JFE西日本 - 6th
Renofa Yamaguchi - レノファ山口 (ex-Yamaguchi Teachers - 山口教員) - 7th
Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku - 佐川急便中国 - Chugoku League champions

Fagiano Okayama after their Chugoku League win over Yamaguchi Teachers

Fagiano Okayama after their Chugoku League win over Yamaguchi Teachers
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