Japanese Non-league Football News

Hotting Up In Toyama & Takamatsu
Some interesting deals to report lower down in the Regional Leagues of Japan's footballing pyramid. There are a large number of clubs across the country who have declared their intention of moving up to the JFL and then to the J-League as quickly as possible, and a good number of these are making major signings and appointments as they try to back up the rhetoric with some impressive results on the pitch during the 2006 season.

In Division 2 of the Hokushinetsu League, Valiente Toyama will be coached in 2006 by the legendary figure of 31-year-old Masao Kiba - a man who spent more than a decade with Gamba Osaka before moving to spend last season at Avispa Fukuoka, and who has comfortably in excess of 200 J-League appearances to his name. As yet, the team have not made any major signings but there is plenty of time for that, with the Hokushinetsu League programme not sue to commence until April.

On the island of Shikoku, meanwhile, Kamatamare Sanuki have previously been mentioned here on Japanese Non-league Football News as a newly-invigorated club based in the city of Takamatsu. Eager to follow in the footsteps of island rivals Tokushima Vortis and Ehime FC into the promised land of the J-League - and with Shikoku League big guns Nangoku Kochi evidently in a state of some disarray - Kamatamare have signed two pros from Consadole Sapporo in the shape of young goalkeeper Shogo Ebisawa and Chinese midfielder Xu Xiao Fei.

Arte Takasaki Go Korean
Arte Takasaki - the new name for the Gunma prefecture side previously known as FC Horikoshi - have made a shock announcement as regards the identity of the distinctly mysterious coach whom they hope will take them a step nearer a place in J2.

Kim Guan Ho, 55, is a former North Korean international who began his senior footballing career in 1977 with the Japan-based Resident Korean Football Group. He played for North Korea in several tournaments over a period of a number of years in the early- to mid-80s, but then his CV evidently goes blank until 2001, when he turned up as coach for Tokyo's Korea University team.

Moreover, Kim will be supported in his new post by Shin Che Bon, most recently coach with FC Korea - a team that plays in the Tokyo Prefectural League - but whose playing career included spells with JEF United and Kawasaki Frontale during the 90s. Chon Pyon Gyu is to take up the post of Arte's physical trainer, having himself moved from Yokohama FC to FC Korea in the last couple of years.
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