Japanese Non-league Football News

Shikoku League
2007's Shikoku League season also got underway on Sunday and it ought to be clarified straightaway to eagle-eyed readers that Alex SC have changed their name during the close season. The Tokushima-based club took on the name of Alex, a local sports shop, as long ago as 1987 but are now called in Japanese 徳島コンプリールSC. The English spelling of this new name is as yet unconfirmed, but until further details emerge they will be known at least on these pages as Tokushima Comprille SC.

10 Apr 07 - Ventana in white battle their way to a win over Shimanami

Ventana in white battle their way to a win over Shimanami

Whatever the club are called, they nevertheless lost the opening fixture of the new campaign, although a 1-0 defeat at Nangoku Kochi cannot go down as too bad a result. This is particularly true when one remembers that goalscorer Yohei Ueda managed seven in the equivalent fixture last year, which turned out to be a 10-0 drubbing for Alex. Reigning champions Kamatamare Sanuki, however, comfortably overcame last year's whipping boys Sanwa Club to the tune of 4-1, thanks in the main to a hat-trick from striker Hiroshi Kato.

The other two fixtures brought more surprising results. In the Matsuyama prefecture derby match, Ehime Shimanami - who in the last few seasons have emerged as the strongest challengers to the clear superiority of Kamatamare and Nangoku - were defeated 2-1 at home by neighbours Ventana AC. Top of the fledgling table at present, though, are Tokushima Vortis Amateur; two late goals made them clear 4-0 winners over their own local rivals Sanyo Electric Tokushima.

10 Apr 07 - Kamatamare line up for the first game of the season

Kamatamare line up for the first game of the season

Sun 08 Apr: Ehime Shimanami 1-2 Ventana AC
Sun 08 Apr: Nangoku Kochi 1-0 Tokushima Comprille SC
Sun 08 Apr: Sanwa Club 1-4 Kamatamare Sanuki
Sun 08 Apr: Tokushima Vortis Amateur 4-0 Sanyo Electric Tokushima

Kyushu League
The Kyushu League hit round 3 on Sunday and last season's winners V Varen Nagasaki would already appear to be the team to beat. They made it twenty goals scored in their three fixtures to date, with a 7-1 thrashing of Fukuoka students Nanakuma Tombies that was watched by a crowd in excess of 3000 people. But V Varen only lead on goal difference from 2006's surprise runners-up Nippon Steel Oita, who maintained their own 100% start by defeating early season shock challengers Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Nagasaki.

Honda Lock have a game in hand and lie third following their 3-1 win over current bottom placed side Kaiho Bank SC, but New Wave Kitakyushu - following on from their sensational loss to Mitsubishi least weekend - continue to live dangerously, almost throwing away a 3-0 half-time lead over Osumi NIFS United. While Kumamoto Teachers had the weekend off from what this year is an eleven-team competition, Volca Kagoshima picked up two points thanks to their penalty shoot-out win following a draw with Okinawa Kariyushi.

10 Apr 07 - Kaiho Bank in blue, heading for defeat at Honda Lock

Kaiho Bank in blue, heading for defeat at Honda Lock

Sun 08 Apr: Honda Lock 3-1 Kaiho Bank SC
Sun 08 Apr: New Wave Kitakyushu 3-2 Osumi NIFS United
Sun 08 Apr: Nippon Steel Oita 5-0 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Nagasaki
Sun 08 Apr: V Varen Nagasaki 7-1 Nanakuma Tombies
Sun 08 Apr: Volca Kagoshima 3-3 Okinawa Kariyushi (PK 3-0)

1. V Varen Nagasaki 9 (+19)
2. Nippon Steel Oita 9 (+11)
3. Honda Lock 6 (+10)
4. New Wave Kitakyushu 6 (+4)
5. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Nagasaki 6 (-3)
6. Volca Kagoshima 5 (+6)
7. Okinawa Kariyushi 3 (-)
8. Osumi NIFS United 1 (-8)
9. Kumamoto Teachers 0 (-9)
10. Nanakuma Tombies 0 (-14)
11. Kaiho Bank SC 0 (-16)

10 Apr 07 - Jun Mizukishi scores for New Wave against Osumi NIFS

Jun Mizukoshi scores for New Wave against Osumi NIFS
Hokushinetsu League Division 2
Sunday saw the opening round, too, to the Hokushinetsu League Division 2 season for 2007. Newly promoted from the Prefectural Leagues are CUPS Niigata - otherwise known as Japan Soccer College reserves - and Ohara School JaSRA, but the two achieved very different results in their debut matches at Regional level. CUPS were 2-0 down inside ten minutes and ended up being beaten 4-0 by Saurcos Fukui, who previously played under the name of FC Kanazu and now have their sights set on bringing J-League football to their own quiet corner of the country. A crowd of 500 turned up to see the start of the journey.

Ohara School, on the other hand, recorded an excellent 2-1 win away at Teihens FC, who twelve months ago were kicking off a season in Division 1. Like the mysteriously-monikered Saurcos, another team to have changed their name are Granscena Niigata - formerly known somewhat misleadingly as TOP Niigata - who overcame Toyama Shinjo Club 2-0. In the other game of the day, FC Antelope Shiojiri managed a 1-0 win over Maruoka Phoenix.

10 Apr 07 - It’s Granscena Niigata on the attack against Toyama Shinjo, of course

It’s Granscena Niigata on the attack against Toyama Shinjo, of course

Sun Apr 08: Granscena Niigata 2-0 Toyama Shinjo Club
Sun Apr 08: Maruoka Phoenix 0-1 FC Antelope Shiojiri
Sun Apr 08: Saurcos Fukui 4-0 CUPS Niigata
Sun Apr 08: Teihens FC 1-2 Ohara School JaSRA
Hokushinetsu League Division 1
Division 1 of the Hokushinetsu League began its 2007 season on Sunday, with Valiente Toyama promoted to life among the big(ger) boys. They went down 3-0 to 2006 champions Japan Soccer College, but other sides suffered worse fates than that. In the Nagano prefecture derby, more than 2000 supporters were at the impressive Alwin facility as Matsumoto Yamaga Club crushed Ueda Gentian 6-0 with a hat-trick from their new ex-Gamba Osaka youth striker Masato Katayama.

It was AC Nagano Parceiro who recorded the best result of the day, however, as they put seven without reply past Niigata University of Management - their own hat-trick hero was former Thespa Kusatsu forward Taiten Sato, who rattled in all his three goals inside the final half an hour. The other game saw Zweigen Kanazawa overcome their Ishikawa rivals Fervorosa in a tense encounter, the only goal coming seven minutes from time courtesy of midfielder Tatsuro Kimura.

10 Apr 07 - Matsumoto Yamaga Club prepare for the big kick off

Matsumoto Yamaga Club prepare for the big kick off

Sun 08 Apr: AC Nagano Parceiro 7-0 Niigata University of Management
Sun 08 Apr: Japan Soccer College 3-0 Valiente Toyama
Sun 08 Apr: Matsumoto Yamaga Club 6-0 Ueda Gentian
Sun 08 Apr: Zweigen Kanazawa 1-0 Fervorosa

10 Apr 07 - The Ishikawa derby - Zweigen Kanazawa in red against Fervorosa

The Ishikawa derby - Zweigen Kanazawa in red against Fervorosa
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