Japanese Non-league Football News

Japanese Non-league Football Yearbook 2008
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Western Japan Football Tournament
The regular curtain-raiser to the Japanese non-league season, the Western Japan Football Tournament, was brought to an abrupt end in Okayama prefecture on Sunday, as a sudden snowstorm caused the cancellation of all of the final day's matches. This meant that none of the four play-offs were resolved and the eight participants will all be forced to share their final position in the tournament ranking with one other club.

Just to jump back and explain the background to the competition, though, the Western Japan Football Tournament is a pre-season competition involving the top two teams from the previous season's Kansai, Shikoku, Chugoku and Kyushu Leagues. As it turned out in 2008, no fewer than three newcomers to the JFL took part, in Fagiano Okayama, New Wave Kitakyushu and Mio Biwako Kusatsu - and in Group 1, it was Fagiano who got off to a good start with a 2-1 win in Friday's Semi-Final over 2008 Kyushu League runners-up Honda Lock.

Mio Biwako, on the other hand, were surprisingly eliminated on the same day by an increasingly competitive-looking Tokushima Vortis Amateur, while in Group 2 Banditonce Kobe squeezed past Kamatamare Sanuki on penalties and New Wave crushed FC Central Chugoku. On Saturday, Fagiano overcame Vortis to win Group 1 and New Wave triumphed over Banditonce to do the same in Group 2, but all Sunday's matches to bring the overall tournament to a conclusion were victims of the weather. Full details of the competition are below.

Group 1 Semi-Finals

Fri 22 Feb: Fagiano Okayama 2-1 Honda Lock
Fri 22 Feb: Tokushima Vortis Amateur 3-2 Mio Biwako Kusatsu

Group 1 3rd / 4th Place Play-off

Sat 23 Feb: Honda Lock 1-3 Mio Biwako Kusatsu

Group 1 Final

Sat 23 Feb: Fagiano Okayama 1-0 Tokushima Vortis Amateur

Group 2 Semi-Finals

Fri 22 Feb: Banditonce Kobe 1-1 Kamatamare Sanuki (PK 4-3)
Fri 22 Feb: New Wave Kitakyushu 6-0 FC Central Chugoku

Group 2 3rd / 4th Place Play-off

Sat 23 Feb: FC Central Chugoku 0-3 Kamatamare Sanuki

Group 2 Final

Sat 23 Feb: Banditonce Kobe 1-2 New Wave Kitakyushu

Tournament 7th / 8th Play-off

Sun 24 Feb: Honda Lock c-c FC Central Chugoku

Tournament 5th / 6th Play-off

Sun 24 Feb: Mio Biwako Kusatsu c-c Kamatamare Sanuki

Tournament 3rd / 4th Play-off

Sun 24 Feb: Tokushima Vortis Amateur c-c Banditonce Kobe

Tournament 1st / 2nd Play-off

Sun 24 Feb: Fagiano Okayama c-c New Wave Kitakyushu

Final Standings

1. = Fagiano Okayama
1. = New Wave Kitakyushu
3. = Banditonce Kobe
3. = Tokushima Vortis Amateur
5. = Kamatamare Sanuki
5. = Mio Biwako Kusatsu
7. = FC Central Chugoku
7. = Honda Lock
More J-League Associate Members
Kataller Toyama and JFL newcomers New Wave Kitakyushu have both achieved J-League associate member status, the J-League have announced. This clears the way for the two to be promoted to J2, should they achieve sufficiently good results on the pitch, and as such places them on a par with three other clubs who are also associate members: Fagiano Okayama, Gainare Tottori and Tochigi SC. Meanwhile FC Ryukyu's application was rejected without J-League officials giving a reason why.
JFL News In Brief
... lots more JFL pre-season friendlies to report on... Gainare Tottori beat Hannan University 2-1... FC Ryukyu beat Fuji University 2-0 and Tomioka High School 5-0... Yokogawa Musashino managed a 2-1 win over Tokyo Gakugei University and Mio Biwako Kusatsu thrashed Kansai University 7-2 but Tochigi SC lost 3-0 to Yokohama F Marinos... Ryutsu Keizai University went down 2-1 to Juntendo University and New Wave Kitakyushu were beaten 3-0 by Oita Trinita...
JFL News In Brief
... JFL clubs have started to participate in pre-season friendlies ahead of the new season start on 16 March. Honda FC beat Mito Hollyhock 2-0... Sagawa Shiga FC, the re-named 2007 champions, drew 0-0 with both Sagawa Printing and Kansai University... Gainare Tottori beat Kochi University 2-1 and Shikoku Leaguers Nangoku Kochi 2-0. Meanwhile defender Kotaro Shitayashiki has left Gainare for Tohoku League side Grulla Morioka...

... making major efforts to develop their squad ahead of their first ever JFL season are Mio Biwako Kusatsu, who have signed forwards Tetsuya Kishima from FC Gifu and Masao Yamamoto from Sagawa Shiga FC, and Roasso Kumamoto defender Naoya Otaki among others... Tochigi SC have sold striker Kenta Nagai to Zweigen Kanazawa of the Hokushinetsu League...
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