Japanese Non-league Football News

Tochigi Aim For J2
JFL outfit Tochigi SC have announced that they have made an approach to the Tochigi prefectural government to request council and local business support in making a final push for J2 membership. Currently in the top four in the JFL, the club's aim is to establish a public company to oversee necessary developments and - if this can be done by February 2006 - to achieve J-League status in 2007.

In many ways, Tochigi can be seen as a test case for similarly-ranked clubs seeking to become fully paid-up members of the pro game: their infrastructure and support are reasonably good and they have an excellent stadium in the beautiful Tochigi Green, although it's acknowledged that further work will be required to bring it up to J-League standard. Furthermore, there are no other clubs in their home prefecture even close to their level - the nearest being Hitachi Tochigi in the Kanto League - which means that all attention locally can be focused on just the one organisation.

31 Oct 05 - Tochigi Green

Tochigi Green Stadium

With so much going for them, then, it could be argued that if Tochigi fail it will be that much harder for teams such as Alo's Hokuriku and FC Horikoshi, the latter of whom have already applied to the J-League but were rejected on the grounds of their lacking a proper home stadium, to make the case for League membership. But getting things right on the field - as well as succeeding in the formation of the company to support their case, with all-important prefectural and business support - is never as simple as that and the competition is likely to become more fierce over the next few years rather than less.

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