FC Tokyo to offer discounted Golden Week children’s tickets

FC Tokyo have announced heavily subsidised tickets to two of their home league fixtures, in association with Keio Railways.

Children’s tickets for matches against Kawasaki Frontale and Kashima Antlers on 2nd May and 10th May respectively will cost just 300 yen each.

The club will also release a 3,000 yen “Test Your Luck” Ticket for sale to the general public.

Fans who purchase the specially-priced ticket won’t be assigned a seating section at Ajinomoto Stadium until the days of the matches.


Montedio announce sale of new merchandise

Montedio Yamagata have revealed that they will be putting a new line of special goods on sale ahead of their match against Shonan Bellmare this Saturday.

These will include a limited edition run of 200 cushions bearing the same design found on the Montedio’s jerseys, and will cost 4000 yen each.

They will be on sale from 10:00am at the club’s goods stall located at the central square beside ND Soft Stadium.

Nobuhiro Ishizaki’s men will face a familiar opponent in the form of fellow promoted outfit Shonan, last term’s MEIJI YASUDA J2 League champions, this weekend.


F.Marinos organise kid training sessions

Yokohama F.Marinos will conduct one-day soccer school sessions for children ahead of two of the club’s home league games.

The trainings will take place at the Shin-Yoko Football Park beside the Nissan Stadium, where F.Marinos take on Sanfrecce Hiroshima and Nagoya Grampus on 29th April and 6th May respectively.

Coaches will conduct a full session, starting with a warm-up and followed by training and mini-game.

Elementary school children can participate at the cost 1500 yen each, inclusive of a ticket to watch the F.Marinos game on the same day.


Chajima boosts Sanfrecce ranks after signing Pro A contract

Sanfrecce Hiroshima announced that midfielder Yusuke Chajima signed a full Pro A contract with the club on Tuesday.

The attacking midfielder passed the 450 minute requirement for signing the contract when he featured against Albirex Niigata in the Yamazaki Nabisco Cup on 28 March.

“I am delighted to sign this contract with the club,” Chajima stated. “I thank you in advance for your support.”

“I am willing to keep improving to become a point of strength for the team.”

The 23-year-old Hiroshima native has played for Sanfrecce since his elementary school days, apart from a brief stint at Tokyo Gakugei University.


Ippei-Kun visits Zweigen Kanazawa

Zweigen Kanazawa announced that semi-official mascot Ippei-Kun will be present at their home match against Ehime FC on Wednesday.

Ippei-Kun the frog is a very common sight around Japanese stadiums, and follows the Japanese national team as well.

He will be roaming around Ishikawa Kanazawa Stadium before and after the MEIJI YASUDA J2 League game, while also taking a lap around the pitch during half time.


Reds players featured on PythagoraSwitch episode

Eight Urawa Reds players participated in the filming of popular children’s TV show PythagoraSwitch on Monday.

Captain Yuki Abe, Tsukasa Umesaki, Yosuke Kashiwagi, Keita Suzuki, Daisuke Nasu, Shusaku Nishikawa, Tadaaki Hirakawa and Tomoaki Makino were all present.

The players appeared during the “Algorithm Exercising” segment, where they performed several synchronised physical exercises.

The programme will be broadcasted this Saturday from 7:45am.


Old boy Marquinhos Parana rejoins Ventforet squad

Ventforet Kofu have added a Brazilian player to their squad for the 2015 MEIJI YASUDA J1 League season.

They have signed midfielder Marquinhos Parana, who played for the outfit in 2013 and 2014 but was temporarily released thereafter.

Marquinhos Parana could feature as soon as this Saturday, when 15th-placed Ventforet Kofu travel to FC Tokyo in matchday 4 of the league.


Consadole’s Sonoda suffers MCL injury

Consadole Sapporo announced on Sunday that defender Jun Sonoda will receive treatment for an injury to the medial collateral ligament (MCL).

The 26-year-old picked up the knock in his right knee during a team training session on 20th March, though the length of time he will be ruled out for is unknown.

Sonoda is in his second year with Consadole after joining them from Kawasaki Frontale in 2014.

The ex-Machida Zelvia loanee was also once called up to the Japan Under-23 side in 2011, but failed to make a single appearance for his country.


Doriva brace helps Yamaga trash S-Pulse in training match

Matsumoto Yamaga defeated Shimizu S-Pulse 4-1 in a training match on Sunday.

The match had been held at Miho Ground, S-Pulse’s training facility, and was divided into one 45-minute period and two 30-minute periods.

Yamaga enjoyed their confidence boost thanks to Brazilian midfielder Doriva, who bagged a brace for the promoted outfit.

Yoshiro Abe and Ryutaro Iio also struck for the visitors, while Takashi Sawada got the only goal for S-Pulse.

Yasuharu Sorimachi’s men had already beaten S-Pulse in the MEIJI YASUDA J1 League on 22nd March thanks to a Masaki Iida goal, pushing them up to ninth in the table.


Giravanz midfielder Hakkaku makes 200th J2 appearance

Giravanz Kitakyushu presented midfielder Tsuyoshi Hakkaku with a token for his 200th MEIJI YASUDA J2 League appearance on Sunday.

Unfortunately for the 29-year-old, his 200th match ended in Giravanz’s 0-1 home loss to Thespakusatsu Gunma.

The southern club currently lie 20th in the league after winning just one of four games, with Hakkaku playing the full 90 minutes in every match so far.

The Chiba native and Komazawa University graduate moved to Kitakyushu in 2013, after previously representing Yokohama FC in his career.


S-Pulse announce free drinks for fans ahead of key cup clashes

Shimizu S-Pulse will set up stalls around IAI Stadium Nihondaira offering supporters unlimited drinks over the course of three upcoming Yamazaki Nabisco Cup matches.

25 supporters will be entitled to purchase a wristband that entitles them to consume all variety of alcoholic beverages for 1000 yen.

Non-alcoholic drinks wristbands will go on joint sale and are also limited to the first 25 buyers, costing a mere 500 yen.

The offers are valid on the dates of 8th April, when S-Pulse host Kawasaki Frontale, 22nd April when they take on Vegalta Sendai, and 20th May against Nagoya Grampus.

Last term’s relegation strugglers are hoping to get fans behind the team for the next potentially decisive fixtures in the cup, given they currently sit bottom of Group B.


F.Marinos present new jerseys

Yokohama F.Marinos announced the launch of their limited edition “Cup Uniforms” on Sunday.

The limited edition jerseys can be ordered through the club’s online shop, at the Nissan Stadium retail outlet, or the Tricolore One shop at Minatomirai until 12th April.

Both home and away designs will be available, with shipments expected to be completed in May.


Reds triumph over Ryutsu Keizai University in thrilling match

Urawa Reds played out an intense training match against Ryutsu Keizai University last Saturday and eventually prevailed 6-4.

Michael Petrovic’s MEIJI YASUDA J1 League leaders enjoyed a weekend off and were put through the paces against the Japanese Football League side.

The tie was evenly contested over three 45 minute periods, with Reds newcomers Naoki Ishihara, Toshiyuki Takagi and Zlatan Ljubijankic all bagging a brace each for the giants.

Their opponents Ryutsu Keizai University compete in the JFL, the fourth tier, and are considered Japan’s best university football side.


Montedio acquire S-Pulse defender Takaki on loan

Montedio Yamagata confirmed that defender Jumpei Takaki was brought in on loan from Shimizu S-Pulse for the 2015 season on Friday.

“I want to work hard to fit in with my new team as quickly as possible,” the 32-year-old said in a statement. “Thank you for your support.”

Takaki had begun his career at S-Pulse and spent the majority of it there, save for two and a half seasons out on loan with Consadole Sapporo.

The veteran spent the majority of 2014 on the fringes of Katsumi Oenoki’s plans, and has failed to make a single appearance this term after being firmly displaced by Genta Miura.


Frontale striker Kobayashi out for four weeks

The extent of Yu Kobayashi’s injury has been made clear, after Kawasaki Frontale revealed on Friday that he will need four weeks to recover from injury.

The 27-year-old was forced to withdraw from the Japan national team squad last Monday due to a knock to his right hamstring.

Kobayashi suffered the injury during Frontale’s 1-0 loss at Montedio Yamagata in the MEIJI YASUDA J1 League’s third matchday on 22 March.

The right winger had already scored one goal and recorded two assists this season, earning him a place in new coach Vahid Halilhodzic’s maiden Japan squad.

Nagoya Grampus star Kengo Kawamata, who was called up in Kobayashi’s stead, received his Samurai Blue debut when he started upfront in Japan’s 2-0 win over Tunisia last Friday.


Reysol youngster Tezuka joins New Zealand club

Kashiwa Reysol announced that Under-18 midfielder Kohei Tezuka joined New Zealand’s Onehunga Sports last Thursday.

Tezuka has played for Reysol’s U-15 and U-18 squads, and was registered as a Type 2 player for Reysol in May 2014.

The Tochigi starlet was also previously called up to the Japan Under-16 national team.


Nagoya soar in Nabisco Cup

Nagoya Grampus have taken sole leadership of Group B in the Yamazaki Nabisco Cup, after seeing off Vegalta Sendai in a thrilling 3-2 win on Saturday.

Akira Nishino’s men had to do without Kengo Kawamata but still went three goals ahead in the first half hour thanks to Riki Matsuda, Asahi Yada and Yoshizumi Ogawa.

The Aichi outfit held off a tense Vegalta fightback, when the visitors scored twice in six minutes during the second period, to ensure their perfect record in the competition continued.

Despite being winless this season and bottom of the J.League, Vissel Kobe kicked off their Cup campaign with a 3-1 victory against Montedio Yamagata.

Kazuma Watanabe was the two-goal hero for the hosts after the visitors temporarily equalised, moving the league strugglers up to second.

Yokohama F.Marinos rounded off the Group B action with a routine 2-0 win over Shimizu S-Pulse, the latter’s strike force of Mitchell Duke and Peter Utaka unable to threaten despite the visitors enjoying the first half on top.

Meanwhile in Group A, an understrength FC Tokyo side in defence was forced to come back from a goal down to draw 1-1 at Matsumoto Yamaga.

The absence of key personnel was felt as Yamaga took the lead through an own goal following a long throw, although Keigo Higashi poked home in the second half to ensure Tokyo maintained top spot.

A tired-looking Sagan Tosu meanwhile failed to capitalise when they drew 0-0 with Shonan Bellmare, with the visitors’ goalkeeper Yota Akimoto standing particularly strong in the second period.

Earlier, Sanfrecce Hiroshima had struggled to contain Albirex Niigata as their hosts continued to have the best chances in a one-sided 0-0 draw.

Albirex threatened throughout through Brazilian starlet Rafael Silva and Leo Silva struck the woodwork, but Sanfrecce hung on just enough to nick a precious point in Niigata.


Jubilo Iwata announce chairman swap

Fallen Japanese giants Jubilo Iwata announced the appointment of Minoru Kimura as new club chairman on Wednesday.

The 60-year-old will replace current chairman Yoshiro Takahira, who will step down from the MEIJI YASUDA J2 League side’s board of directors at a shareholder meeting later in June.

“Let’s return to J1 and bring back a strong Jubilo Iwata,” Kimura said in a statement issued through the club.

“I hope to work hard so that all of us can experience the club ideals of joy and passion together.”

The three-time J.League champions and all-round most successful Japanese side in Asian club football competition suffered the ignominy of relegation in 2013.

Jubilo narrowly missed getting back into the top-flight after a season down, eventually losing the promotion play-offs after finishing fourth under ex-playing icon Hiroshi Nanami.


Gamba’s Myojin suffers hamstring injury

Gamba Osaka announced on Wednesday that midfielder Tomokazu Myojin will undergo treatment for inflammation in his right hamstring.

The veteran suffered his injury last Sunday in Gamba’s MEIJI YASUDA J1 League matchday 3 win against Ventforet Kofu.

Myojin’s injury is a blow to Kenta Hasegawa’s side, given the 37-year-old has featured in six of the club’s seven matches in all competitions this season.

No timetable has been drafted for the 37-year-old, who has made 215 league appearances for Gamba since joining them in 2006, to return to action.


Yokotake seeks new challenge in regional league

Gainare Tottori have confirmed that Tsubasa Yokotake completed his transfer to Shikoku regional league team Igosso Kochi on Wednesday.

Yokotake, a product of the famous Sanfrecce Hiroshima academy, played 10 matches in 2014 with MEIJI YASUDA J3 League side Gainare.

The midfielder made sure to thank his supporters in Tottori in a short message via the official club’s website.

His new side Igosso Kochi play in the Shikoku League, one of the several regional leagues that forms the fifth tier of Japanese football.

Above the regional league is the Japan Football League, which leads up to the three rungs of the J.League.