Japanese Non-league Football News

Miyagi's Cobaltore Aim For The Top
From Miyagi prefecture in the Tohoku region of northern Honshu comes news of yet another club currently in the lower reaches of Japan's footballing pyramid - but with their sights set on the J-League. Cobaltore Onagawa are riding high at the top of Division 1 of their prefectural league competition, despite the fact that their home town is a small and comparatively isolated coastal community of barely 10,000 people. Indeed, the football club acknowledge that one of the reasons why they were formed in early 2006 was with the intention of encouraging young people through football to remain living locally, as a means of countering the broad Japanese social issue of rural depopulation (their English-language slogan is "We create a new fun for a new active lifestyle").

Appointed as coach for Cobaltore's debut season was former Japan international midfield player Nobuo Fujishima, who spent a lengthy playing career in the pre-J-League JSL at the NKK company team and whose subsequent coaching career has included a number of years in charge of JFL outfit YKK AP. 2006 proved to be a successful start for the fledgling club, as they won every match of their Ishinomaki City League campaign before gaining promotion to the Prefectural League for 2007. Like many teams in a similar position across Japan, Cobaltore are aiming to reach the regional Tohoku League next year and the JFL by 2010 or 2011.

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