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JFL News In Brief
There were a number of JFL sides in action in friendly games on Tuesday... Rosso Kumamoto beat Gainare Tottori - formerly SC Tottori - 3-2 in a 3 x 45 mins clash, with the Rosso goals coming from Mitsuhiro Seki, Kiyoshi Saito and new signing Yosuke Kobayashi. On target for Tottori were Kohei Masumoto and another Kobayashi, Takanori... Shikoku League outfit Nangoku Kochi were beaten 5-0 by YKK AP, for whom Yohei Tanaka, Kohei Onishi, Tomohisa Ishiguro, Michiharu Otagiri and Takuya Kikuchi were on the scoresheet... and Ryutsu Keizai University pulled off an encouraging 2-2 draw against Mito Hollyhock... meanwhile, Yokogawa Musashino have added two new players to their squad in the form of Yuki Osawa, a 23-year-old defender from Aichi Gakuin, and Naoya Sakurai, 18, a midfield player from Tokyo's Kurume Zen High School...

13 Feb 07 - Fresh from his move from Yokogawa Musashino to Rosso Kumamoto, Yosuke Kobayashi

Fresh from his move from Yokogawa Musashino to Rosso Kumamoto, Yosuke Kobayashi
Regional League News In Brief
Lots more Regional League news... Hokkaido League team Tokachi Fairsky - promoted to Regional level twelve months ago under the less-than-promising moniker of Rude Boys - have changed their name again, this time to Tokachifairsky Genesis... on Sunday, Hokushinetsu challengers Matsumoto Yamaga Club won a 3 x 30 mins friendly against Ueda High School 8-0... meanwhile, Matsumoto have announced the signings from Kinki University of former Gamba Osaka youth team striker Masato Katayama and Keiichi Kanazawa, ex-Sanfrecce Hiroshima youth...

11 Feb 07 - New Wave Kitakyushu’s motley crew meet the press

New Wave Kitakyushu’s motley crew meet the press

Part 2 ... midfielder Kazuhiro Mori, released by Rosso Kumamoto, has joined Banditonce Kobe of the Kansai League... Banditonce's rivals FC Mi-o Biwako Kusatsu beat relegated Takada FC 3-0 in a friendly at the weekend... FC Mi-o have signed teenage midfielder Takahiro Urashima from Kitaotsu High School...

Part 3... likely Kanto League title candidates FC Machida Zelvia warmed up for the 2007 season with a 3-1 win over Toshiba Fuchu SC on Sunday, in a 3 x 30 mins friendly... this follows on from a 2-1 defeat of Kanagawa Teachers the week before (2 x 45 mins 1 x 40 mins)... relegated out of the JFL and preparing for life back in the Kyushu League, Honda Lock lost 4-1 in a friendly against J2 side Thespa Kusatsu on Saturday...

11 Feb 07 - Honda Lock put together an attack against Thespa Kusatsu

Honda Lock put together an attack against Thespa Kusatsu

Part 4... across Kyushu, New Wave Kitakyushu have confirmed their 2007 squad, which features six players on what they describe as pro contracts. Most notable among the other members of the playing staff is giant 19-year-old Brazilian defender Douglas, newly arrived from Montedio Yamagata... title holders V Varen Nagasaki have boosted their squad with the arrival of keeper Hisashi Deguchi from Fuji University...
Shikoku League Promotion Play-off
In what amounts to the very last piece of action of the 2006 Japanese Regional League season, Alex SC held on to their place in the Shikoku League with a 1-0 defeat of Kagawa's Minami Club in the second leg of their Play-off on Sunday. This produced an aggregate score of 2-2, meaning that both teams stay in their respective leagues for the 2007 campaign; indeed, following Sanwa Club's win over Hisaeda FC in the other Play-off, the Shikoku League line-up for the forthcoming season will be the same as it was last year.

Sun 11 Feb: Alex SC 1-0 Minami Club
JFL News In Brief
In Sunday's JFL-related friendlies, Yokogawa Musashino drew 2-2 with Tsukuba University... Ryutsu Keizai University staged two games, beating YSCC from the Kanto League 7-0 and a side from the Japan Atomic Energy Agency 10-0...
Regional League News In Brief
Zweigen Kanazawa of the Hokushinetsu League lost 1-0 at JFL newcomers FC Gifu in a 2 x 45 mins 1 x 30 mins friendly in Gifu on Sunday... on the same day, Kyushu's Volca Kagoshima went down 3-0 to Kyoto Sanga...

11 Feb 07 - A romantic scene from FC Gifu against Zweigen Kanazawa

A romantic scene from FC Gifu against Zweigen Kanazawa
Regional News In Brief
Lots of Regional League news today... ambitious Tohoku League side FC Perada Fukushima have announced details of the coaching appointment which they hope will oversee the club's progression to the fringes of the J-League. In charge until the beginning of 2011 will be Yu Tokisaki, aged just 27 and for most of his playing career a midfielder with Shonan Bellmare, although the Fukushima native has spent the last couple of seasons at Mito Hollyhock...

10 Feb 07 - Calm down girls, it’s Yu Tokisaki

Calm down girls, it’s Yu Tokisaki

Part 2... meanwhile, Grulla Morioka have signed a second Taiwanese player, following the transfer at the end of December of international keeper Lu Kun-Chi. Fellow national team member Chuang Wei-Lun, 24, is a right-sided forward who until recently was registered with the Taiwan National Sports Training Center club... Kyoto Sanga reserve midfield player Hideaki Ikematsu has joined Chugoku Leaguers Fagiano Okayama...

Part 3... in Hokushinetsu, Fervorosa are working hard to piece together a stronger squad and thereby challenge the likes of Japan Soccer College and Matsumoto Yamaga Club. But no-one would have expected them to look for players as far afield as they have done - for Maric Andelkovic, a giant 26-year-old defender, and 28-year-old midfielder Jaka Jakopic come to Ishikawa from Slovenian League Division 1 side Interblock Ljubljana, previously known as NK Factor. Interblock currently have on their books Hidetoshi Wakui, a Japanese player who began his career at Albirex Niigata...
Regional League News In Brief
Hokushinetsu League hopefuls Zweigen Kanazawa have announced the signing of former Consadole Sapporo midfielder Yusuke Kondo from Mito Hollyhock, and of Hikaru Hironiwa from Ehime FC... Mito's experienced Brazilian Marquinho has joined Gunma Prefectural League outfit Tonan SC, who at the end of last year were shock failures to reach the Kanto League Division 2. He'll be joined there by well-travelled defender Shingo Morita, who numbers TDK Akita amongst his previous clubs but was most recently at Ventforet Kofu... Aries FC, relegated to the Tokyo Prefectural League last year, have signed defender Ryosuke Kawamura from the now-defunct Sagawa Kyubin Tokyo and Yokogawa Musashino striker Yuki Shimizu...
JFL News In Brief
Lots of news to catch up on today... JEF Reserves lost 2-1 to J2 minnows Mito Hollyhock in a friendly on Wednesday... Rosso Kumamoto were defeated by J2 opposition on Thursday, Tokushima Vortis running out 2-0 winners in their friendly... on Friday, Honda FC beat Montedio Yamagata 2-1... Saturday results included a 2-1 defeat of Honda by FC Kariya and a further loss by the same scoreline for Rosso Kumamoto at the hands of J1 newcomers Yokohama FC... but FC Ryukyu thrashed Okinawa League side Rekiowing 7-1 and Yokogawa Musashino beat Hokushinetsu League side AS Nagano Parceiro 6-1...

10 Feb 07 - Honda FC clash with FC Kariya

Honda FC clash with FC Kariya

Part 2... likely JFL strugglers Sony Sendai have signed two college players to boost their meagre squad... FC Gifu's selection process has thrown up four college players, plus former Ventforet Kofu defender Tsutomu Matsuda...
Fukui Joins The J-League Race
Fukui prefecture in the Hokushinetsu region is the latest to join the race for a place in the J-League, with the news that Hokushinetsu League Division 2 side FC Kanazu have modified their status and structure with the intention of working towards the ranks of the professionals. The resulting new club will be known as Saurcos Fukui, with a base in Owara city and the chance to use the 21,000-capacity Technoport Fukui Stadium for home games.

Unlike other clubs in comparable situations, such as Renofa Yamaguchi in Chugoku and the newly-promoted MIE Rampole in the Tokai League, Saurcos have been a little coy about setting a particular date by which time they want to achieve a J2 position. Kanazu, however, gained promotion to the lower section of the Hokushinetsu League for the 2005 season - and indeed missed out on moving up to Division 1 at the end of 2006 by just a whisker, as Ueda Gentian beat them 6-5 on penalties after their Play-off ended 2-2.
Grulla & Zebra Clash In Winter League
Local rivals Morioka Zebra and Grulla Morioka from Division 1 of the Tohoku League are taking part throughout February in a round robin Winter League competition, alongside college teams Iwate University and Fuji University. The schedule is as per below, with all matches taking place at the Fuji University Soccer Stadium:

Sun 18 Feb: Fuji University - Iwate University
Sun 18 Feb: Morioka Zebra - Grulla Morioka

Sat 24 Feb: Fuji University - Morioka Zebra
Sat 24 Feb: Grulla Morioka - Iwate University

Sun 25 Feb: Fuji University - Grulla Morioka
Sun 25 Feb: Iwate University - Morioka Zebra
JFL News In Brief
Yokogawa Musashino continued their preparations for life after the transfer of star striker Yosuke Kobayashi to Rosso Kumamoto, when they beat high school side Seiritsu Gakuen 4-2 in a friendly on Sunday. The Yokogawa goals coming from Takumi Okawa, ex-Ehime FC forward Takuro Uji (two) and Kenji Nogi... Yosuke Nishi, a midfield player, has moved from Tohoku League side Grulla Morioka to Sony Sendai...

04 Feb 07 - Yokogawa Musashino in blue take on the kids

Yokogawa Musashino in blue take on the kids
Shikoku League Promotion / Relegation Play-offs
四国サッカーリーグ 入替戦

One of the two Shikoku League Promotion / Relegation Play-off ties was completed on Sunday, with Kochi prefecture's Sanwa Club holding on to their Regional League status despite a 5-2 defeat at the hands of Hisaeda FC from Ehime. Sanwa's 5-0 first leg victory means that they emerge with an aggregate 7-5 win.

The delayed play-off between Alex SC and Minami Club, however, is very much up for grabs after the first leg game on Sunday. Minami Club, from Kagawa prefecture, claimed a shock 2-1 win to give them a good chance of promotion for the first time in their history - while Alex are in danger of dropping back to the Tokushima Prefectural League, a competition in which they most recently participated in 2001. The second leg is scheduled to take place this coming Sunday.

Sun 04 Feb: Hisaeda FC 5-2 Sanwa Club (Sanwa Club won 7-5 on aggregate)
Sun 04 Feb: Minami Club 2-1 Alex SC
JFL News In Brief
JFL champions Honda FC beat Shizuoka Sangyo University 3-1 in a friendly on Saturday... Yokogawa Musashino also overcame Ryutsu Keizai University Kashiwa High School 5-1... two other JFL sides met with 3-0 defeats, however, in practice matches against J-League opposition. JEF Reserves lost to Shonan Bellmare, while Tokyo Verdy 1969 got the better of Arte Takasaki... 22-year-old keeper Shota Wada has signed for Hokuhsinetsu League hopefuls Fervorosa, having left FC Ryukyu... Hiroshi Fukushima, the 24-year-old Avispa Fukuoka forward who spent the last couple of seasons on loan at Rosso Kumamoto, has signed a permanent deal at Kyushu League champions V Varen Nagasaki...
Regional League News In Brief
Satoshi Tezuka, 48, has been named as the new coach at Chugoku League champions Fagiano Okayama. Tezuka, a former Japanese international, spent the bulk of his career as player and coach with Fujita / Shonan Bellmare, before moving on in 2003 to join the staff at Mito Hollyhock. Two years later he took over at then-newcomers Thespa Kusatsu... Fagiano have also announced their two signings. Kenta Tsurumaki is a 19-year-old midfielder who joins on loan from Tokyo Verdy 1969, as does striker Kohei Kiyama, 18... in Kyushu, Volca Kagoshima were crushed 9-1 by J1 side Nagoya Grampus 8 in a friendly on Saturday...
All Change In Chugoku
It's been announced that the next couple of years will see a major overhaul to the format of the Chugoku League competition. Since 2003, the league has mostly functioned as an eight-team division, with a straightforward home-and-away fixture list and a mechanism of promotion from the Prefectural Leagues involving Play-offs with the bottom two teams. A more unusual feature has been the use of penalty shoot-outs to decide drawn matches, something which elsewhere within the Regional League structure is retained only in Kyushu.

However, at the end of the regular 14-game 2007 season - due to commence on 15 April - the league table will be divided into a top four and bottom four, with the teams in each section playing against each other on one further occasion, i.e. a total of 17 matches. It is expected that following the performance of Fagiano Okayama in the Regional League Championship Winners' Play-off tournament last year, the top two teams will proceed to the equivalent competition in November.

At the other end of the Chugoku League, there is not scheduled to be any relegation this year because in 2008 it will be expanded to include ten clubs. This will be good news for teams such as Shimane prefecture's Iwami SC - relegated at the end of 2006 after five seasons at Regional level - and Okayama pair NTN Okayama and Nippon Oil Mizushima. The use of penalty shoot-outs to decide drawn games, a feature of Chugoku League football for a decade, is also to be abolished.
JFL News In Brief
Nagoya Grampus 8 beat Rosso Kumamoto 5-0 in a friendly on Friday 2nd... continuing their rebuilding ahead of the 2007 season are Sagawa Printing, who have signed striker Toshihisa Ono from Arte Takasaki and ex-Denso and Penarol defender Hideaki Matsuura. Yuji Hashimoto has returned from Banditonce Kobe to coach the club for the second time in his career... former Gamba Osaka reserve keeper Suguru Hino, 24, has signed a permanent deal with FC Gifu...
JFL News In Brief
SC Tottori are reported to have adopted as their official moniker their nickname of Gainare Tottori. "Gainare" comes from the local dialect word "gaina", meaning "strong"... Masakazu Ishibashi has been promoted to become the new coach at JFL 2006 champions Honda FC, who have signed four university and high school players for the new season... following their departure at the end of last season from FC Ryukyu, striker Shinji Fujiyoshi and coach Jorge Yonashiro have moved to Kyushu League hopefuls New Wave Kitakyushu... seven players have been released by Mitsubishi Mizushima, including forward Kotaro Takamatsu... 25-year-old midfielder Kazuhisa Hamaoka has become the third player in recent days to move from Ehime FC to Sagawa Printing...
Regional League News In Brief
Matsumoto Yamaga Club in Hokushinetsu have sign Hiroshi Mikuri, a 22-year-old goalkeeper from Komazawa University. Formerly in the youth team at Kashima Antlers, Mikuri was represented Japan at U17 and U18 level and in 2006 was awarded the title of Best University Goalkeeper... defender Mitsunori Izutani, 23, has moved across Shikoku from J2 side Ehime FC to Kamatamare Sanuki... in Kyushu, V Varen Nagasaki have released 30-year-old keeper Tsukimitsu Mizuda and signed a replacement in Ryo Fukuda from Kumamoto Kokufu High School... New Wave Kitakyushu have let go six members of their 2006 squad, including experienced defender Ryuji Otsuka and midfield player Yuhei Yamamoto... Volca Kagoshima will play friendly games against Nagoya Grampus 8 on 3rd February and against Kyoto Sanga on 11th February...
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