Japanese Non-league Football News

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From TOP To...
Hokushinetsu League Division 2 outfit TOP Niigata have announced a change of name to Granscena Niigata. Although there is a stated intention of reaching the JFL, the focus of the new club seems really to be more as a local organisation providing football training for various sectors of the community under the tutelage of Kunishige Kamamoto, the legendary Japanese international striker who was part of the bronze medal winning team at the Mexico '68 Olympics.

06 Mar 07 - Granscena Niigata’s badge

Granscena Niigata’s badge

The club have their roots in the Niigatashuyukai side that first appeared in the Hokushinetsu League in 1998. Having performed reasonably solidly for several seasons, in 2003 they picked up just five points in the whole year to end up bottom of the table. The following season, merged with Niigata Prefectural League team Niigata Napoli under the name TOP Niigata, they appeared in the newly-formed Hokushinetsu League Division 2. Since that time, TOP have improved steadily and last year missed out on a Promotion Play-off place only on goal difference.
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