The following players are ones who are currently playing in J1, but originally come from Kyushu.
I have said many times that with our current situation we should be looking to make a club which has a regional identity. This would work to hopefully increase awareness of the club in the area, and hopefully mean we could attract the best young players from the area which the following list will hopefully show could make a very competitive team.
It is much easier to sell a club to a player if he is originally from the area as it allows them to ‘come home’ to an area they know and have family/friends.
I have marked each player with a symbol:
* shows players who I think are quite realistic targets.
+ shows good players, but ones who are very unlikely to come to us unless offered something worthwhile.
~ shows players who are way above our level and wouldn’t come or are too expensive.
I didn’t bother marking Tosu or Oita players as they are already in Kyushu so couldn’t be enticed back here and if they are playing for those clubs aren’t good enough for us anyway.
Taku Akahoshi 赤星 拓 – Sagan Tosu – Fukuoka
Shusaku Nishikawa 西川 周作 – Sanfrecce Hiroshima – Oita ~
Kohei Kawata 河田 晃兵 – Ventforet Kofu – Oita +
Yuji Rokutan 六反 勇治- Yokohama F Marinos – Kagoshima
Yūhei Tokunaga 徳永悠平 – FC Tokyo – Nagasaki ~
Masahiko Inoha 伊野波 雅彦 – Jubilo Iwata – Miyazaki ~
Masato Fujita 藤田 優人 – Kashiwa Reysol – Oita ~
Yusuke Muta 牟田 雄祐 – Nagoya Grampus – Fukuoka ~
Shohei Kishida 岸田 翔平 – Sagan Toss – Oita
Koji Noda 野田 紘史 – Urawa Reds – Fukuoka *
Taikai Uemoto 上本 大海 – Vegalta Sendai – Kagoshima +
Kazuya Yamamura 山村 和也 – Kashima Antlers – Nagasaki ~
Naomichi Ueda 植田 直通 – Kashima Antlers – Kumamoto *(loan)
Tatsuya Sakai 坂井 達弥 – Sagan Tosu – Fukuoka
Daisuke Nasu 那須 大亮 – Urawa Reds – Kagoshima +
Yu Yasukawa 安川 有 – Oita Trinita – Fukuoka
Kota Fujimoto 藤本 康太 – Cerezo Osaka – Kumamoto ~
Masato Kurogi 黒木 聖仁 – Cerezo Osaka – Miyazaki *
Hokuto Nakamura 中村 北斗 – FC Tokyo – Nagasaki +
Junichi Inamoto 稲本 潤一 – Kawasaki Frontale – Kagoshima ~
Daigo Watanabe 渡邉 大剛 – Omiya Ardija – Nagasaki ~
Naoyuki Fujita 藤田 直之 – Sagan Tosu – Fukuoka
Toshiya Sueyoshi 末吉 隼也 – Sagan Tosu – Fukuoka
Kota Sameshima 鮫島 晃太 – Sanfrecce Hiroshima – Kagoshima *
Jumpei Takaki 高木 純平 – Shimizu S-Pulse – Kumamoto +
Hironori Nishi 西 弘則 – Oita Trinita – Kumamoto
Ken Matsubara 松原 健 – Oita Trinita – Oita
Hirotaka Tameda 為田 大貴 – Oita Trinita – Oita
Toshihiro Matsushita 松下 年宏 – Vegalta Sendai – Kagoshima
Forwards / Wingers.
Kaoru Takayama 高山 薫 – Shonan Bellmare – Fukuoka *
Kazuma Watanabe 渡邉 千真 – FC Tokyo – Nagasaki ~
Keigo Higashi 東 慶悟 – FC Tokyo – Kitakyushu ~
Masashi Motoyama 本山 雅志 – Kashima Antlers – Kitakyushu +
Yoshito Ōkubo 大久保 嘉人 – Kawasaki Frontale – Fukuoka ~
Shūto Hira 平 秀斗 – Sagan Tosu – Kagoshima
Koki Kiyotake 清武 功暉 – Sagan Tosu – Oita
Kohei Shimizu 清水 航平 – Sanfrecce Hiroshima – Fukuoka ~
Kohei Hattanda 八反田 康平 – Shimizu S-Pulse – Kagoshima ~
Tsukasa Umesaki 梅崎 司 – Urawa Reds – Nagasaki ~
Shinzo Koroki 興梠 慎三 – Urawa Reds – Miyazaki ~
Masaya Matsumoto 松本 昌也 – Oita Trinita – Oita
Masaru Matsuhashi 松橋 優 – Ventforet Kofu – Nagasaki *
Shingo Hyodo 兵藤 慎剛 – Yokohama F Marinos – Nagasaki +
Sōta Hirayama 平山 相太 – FC Tokyo – Kitakyushu +
Yuya Osako 大迫 勇也 – Kashima Antlers – Kagoshima ~
Ryunosuke Noda 野田 隆之介 – Sagan Tosu – Fukuoka
The players who I have marked with a star* as being realistic targets for this winter break are:
Koji Noda 野田 紘史 – Urawa Reds – Fukuoka (helps in our problem full-back position)
Naomichi Ueda 植田 直通 – Kashima Antlers – Kumamoto (Very young player who could come on loan and be good back-up)
Masato Kurogi 黒木 聖仁 – Cerezo Osaka – Miyazaki (Midfielder who might want to come and get some games)
Kota Sameshima 鮫島 晃太 – Sanfrecce Hiroshima – Kagoshima (Was at Gainare this season and might have something)
Kaoru Takayama 高山 薫 – Shonan Bellmare – Fukuoka
Masaru Matsuhashi 松橋 優 – Ventforet Kofu – Nagasaki (gets goals, but not too many games at Kofu)
The other big point I noticed is how many really top players come from Kagoshima;more than Fukuoka City itself in fact.
As a city with no J-League club I really hope we have a visible presence in the football clubs and high schools in that area (and Miyazaki to a lesser extent).
Players from Nagasaki and Oita should be picked up by their J2 clubs, but we should have a coach dedicated to going down to Kagoshima on a regular basis.
As an indicator of what a Kyushu team could look like if Avispa were able to fufil the vision I see I thought I’d make up a team made entirely of players from the island.
It also includes Endo from J2, and Kiyotake from Europe.
If money could be spent on keeping young players of this quality together rather than getting 34 year olds who are past their best then I believe this club could survive in the English Premier League and almost certainly win J1.
I’d wanted to write about what the players need do before the weekend when some players would be released, but got busy and couldn’t.
I’ll write for all players now as if they were still at the club:
#3 – Ryu Okada
At the moment he is seen as a versatile player who can cover a number of positions, which is a positive, but one who isn’t really good enough for any of them on it’s own. He needs to find a club which will give him 35 games a season to play in the same position, I would suggest a Makalele-type defensive shield, and learn the craft of that position to improve on his physical attributes.
#7 – Jun Kanakubo
He quite clearly sees himself as a bit of a star on the ball (and to be fair to him he can do some decent things and generally holds possession well), but for me he is most impressive when he is off the ball and trying to win it back. He has the pace and tenacity to close players well behond the initial press from the strikers and wins a lot of turnovers. What he needs to do now is apply that tenacity to when the ball is in our own half. At the moment he doesn’t track back enough to try and help win possession back, rather believing that when the ball is in our half it is ‘someone else’s job’.
#8 – Yuji Funayama
Technically able but sometimes tries to make the ball do too much with Hollywood passes which rarely come off. Would be better off working on his engine and movement to follow a simple team plan and complete 85% of his passes in a match with 10 tackles, rather than always be thinking to play a killer pass diagonally over the top.
#14 – Masakazu Kihara
Kihara has to learn to make the absolute most of his key attribute; pace. I had heard lots of stories about him being one of the fastest accelerating players in the league when he came here, but never really showed it. Unless his injuries have killed his pace he needs to find a club which puts balls into the final third and lets him show his number to the bench. Defenders hate running back towards goal, even more so if against the fastest player in the league, I’ve never seen him do it.
#17 – Chris Kinyo
Take whatever contract it takes to stay at the club knowing that if he puts the hard work in, and listens to the manager then he will be given a chance on the pitch (something unlikely at pretty much any other club in the league where a manager will prefer a 28 year old journey-man).
#20 – Shuto Nakahara
Keep the #20 shirt. Quite a strange piece of advice but Sueyoshi switching to #7, and seemingly looking like he was a senior pro and then getting any better has ended up with the 2nd place Rookie of the year finished as someone who can’t even get on the bench at Sagan Tosu. Nakahara has done very well this season, but needs to keep in his mind that he might only be 50% of the way towards his potential.
#26 – Yuta Mishima
My Player of the Season, let alone Young Player of the Season, there is little more that I could say he should be doing now than what he is already doing. Keep listening to the manager, and sign a 4 year deal to stay at the club. By adding the defensive side to his game he is twice the player he used to be and has the chance of going to the Olympics if he keeps his progression.
#27 – Jang Jong Wong
I’ve never seen him play, so can’t say too much. What I do know is that in Pusnik we have a manager who will play him if he is good enough regardless of age so he isn’t quite there yet. Keep working hard in training and be ready to step up and show something when you get your chance on the pitch.
#28 – Taku Ushinohama
Needs to grow physically to add another dimension to his game. If he looks at the European players in his position like Bale and Ronaldo then he’ll see that at about the age he is now they start to bulk up a bit to give the upper body strength to turn defenders. He needs to be careful not to do it at the expense of his pace, or getting injured, but has to improve physically.
#10 – Hisashi Jogo
Has been a lot more involved in the game this season, I believe as a consequence of playing a variety of positions including central midfield where he is forced to go looking for the ball (if Avispa can offer him that role for 3 years now I think he should think twice about leaving).
One aspect which I always want to see a little different is that he is inclined to run onto balls played through to him, but also needs to run to meet and control balls sometimes. At present defenders are able to work him out knowing that they can take a gamble on intercepting the ball knowing that he will always be looking to run onto the pass rather than challenge for it.
#11 – Daisuke Sakata
There isn’t much I can say to Sakata, he hasn’t scored goals like he did when he first arrived but I can’t see any real reason for that beyond a drop in confidence. One thing I have noticed is a huge improvement in his fitness. He used to only last 60 minutes of a game at 75% of the pace he was going at this season, whatever he has done to last a full game he should keep up.
#15 – Bratislav Punosevac
In Europe he probably didn’t have the huge height advantage which he now does, but having got it in Japan he needs to start being more effective with it.
Especially if he can improve his jumping he will be unplayable for a lot of defences at this level. Work on his back-post play, his knock-downs from long-balls, and be the key man at corners.
#16 – Daisuke Ishizu
Fall in love with assists. He has a good willingness to shoot, and an ability to score which has seen him lead the goal-scoring charts for the club. He is also one of the highest rated dribblers in the division, it would seem like he has it all. Unfortunately he is still missing the ability to play in others, until he gets this he won’t be able to reach the top of the game. Watch videos of people like Bergkamp and Laudrup who knew the ability to play in others was harder than actually scoring. If he remains one-dimensional then defenders will eventually work him out.
#18 – Go Nishida
His first touch is appalling. He can be a good hold-up striker, and one who also has the ability to score with his feet and his head, but too often when the ball comes into him it ends up bouncing 5-8m away.
Once he has possession he is fine, but this gap in his game for controlling the ball is holding him back.
#24 – Takeshi Kanamori
Learn to dribble in places which will hurt the opposition. He has good ability on the ball, but sometimes pulls out his tricks in places where even if he beats a couple of players it doesn’t achieve anything.
By doing that he is just giving the opposition the chance to see what he can do, and maybe make them better at dealing with it on the edge of their box. Look at someone like Mishima; he keeps things simple 85% of the time, but has got assists and won penalties by pulling out his box of tricks when he gets into the final third.
It’s come to the time of the year when players start to leave (and hopefully join) the club.
As much as it is quite exciting to see who arrives it is also quite sad to say goodbye to a bunch of guys who regardless of ability have always generally tried their best for the club.
The first bunch of players to be released are generally ones which the club (and probably the players) have known for a while that they wouldn’t be at the club next year.
Some more players will probably be released over the next couple of weeks but they will still be in some sort of negotiation.
#2 – Kim Min Je
Has predictably been released after getting very few opportunities on the pitch. Is a shame for him as I have always thought he could be a very good attacking wing-back if he got given the opportunities to get the experience needed to improve the defensive side of his game.
Unfortunately he seemed to focus mainly on the physical side of his game and got bigger and bigger in terms of physique, but then picked up the accompanying niggly injuries which come with that.
Avispa have looked after me for the 3 years I have been here. I have had good times and bad times, but when I look back now everything has been important and it has been a happy time. I’ll not forget Avispa Fukuoka even if I go to another team, and will continue to support them. Thank you very much.
#3 – Takuya Miyamoto
I’ve always thought Miyamoto had a tough time at Avispa, he never really let the team down any time he was asked to play, and at the start of the season in particular I thought he was our best player.
He never really fit into the adaptable, communicator role wanted by Pusnik, and at 30 years of age was unlikely to ever turn into that role.
He will hopefully now have no problem getting a new club in the lower half of J2, and should be looking for one which will appreciate his effort in being a reliable, if unspectacular right-back.
Thank you for this 1 year. We didn’t achieve our goals as a team, and personally I didn’t meet my expectations but it was a happy time. I thank everyone sincerely. I hope to use the experience from this year in the future. Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you for the support.
#8 – Yuji Funayama
Arriving alongside Miyamoto from Montedio, and immediately taking the #8 shirt there were big hopes that Funayama could come in a fill the hole in the middle of the pitch. It never really worked out, and while he has some excellent technical qualities at times he needs to work on getting into the right place at the right time to use them.
He will be picked up by a club in J2 with few problems, and will be a competent player for the right team.
It has just been a short period of 1 year but thanks for the warm support. Both as a team as as myself I didn’t achieve the goals I set for myself and that is regretful. I want to now use this regret to power myself towards changing things in the future. Thank you for your future support.
#14 – Masakazu Kihara
2013 was a bad season for Kihara in that he was basically injured for the whole season. We don’t have the cash to spare for someone in that situation and he probably now has to take a pay-cut and a drop in level to find a club who will give him 30 games in the season. He needs to make sure he keeps his pace, and learns how to use that pace as his one key attribute.
I was here for just 2 years but feel flattered to have played for a club with the tradition of Avispa. Thank you to all the fans for your support. I had a painful time this season due to injuries, but was heartened by all the encouragement from the fans. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I want to take advantage of my 2 years at Avispa and use the experience in the future. Thank you for your support.
#18 – Go Nishida
Of the players released I am a little surprised they have let Nishida go. He isn’t the most accomplished player, but he always puts 100% onto the pitch, has scored goals at this level, and is clearly a good person to have around the club.
His touch is terrible at times, and seems to attract yellow cards without ever doing anything nasty, but has scored some good goals for the club.
Is probably 10cm too small to be the good target man striker we need, and doesn’t have the skill or pace to be anything beyond that, but should now have no problem finding a new club and wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him score against us next season.
Avispa has taken care of me for 2 years. I was so glad to hear the chant made for me when I scored at Level-5 last year. I would have loved to hear it more and more. It’s a real shame for me that I now won’t. I will now leave Avispa’s future but continue to support. Thank you very much.
#21 – Hiroyuki Omata
I am also surprised that Omata is being allowed to leave the club as we don’t really have any options at left-back and with Min Je and Miyamoto also leaving with surely be seeing some new full-backs.
Omata always did well when he was on the pitch, Defending well, getting forward to provide crosses into the box and being very useful at set pieces, but always had his issues with injury.
His concern at Mizutani when he got injured showed a man who knows what damage can be done to your career and now needs to get fit and get a club who will be happy for 25 really good games a season; unfortunately we need full-backs who can do 35.
Thank you for these 2 years. There have been times when I have been injured, but have been lucky to have the encouragement of everyone around me. We haven’t had good results as a team for the last 2 seasons, but I am very thankful that even in the hard times there was always a warm support at Level-5 stadium. I think that with the support of these fans the future for Avispa is bright. I will work hard to stay active myself. I have nothing decided for the future but hope to move forward with a feeling of gratitude and be picked up by another club. Thank you very much.
It’s the off-season, a time when players can relax and think about how to build and improve for next season.
Some will sit back and do nothing over the next few months until the first game of 2014, others might think how they can come back better than before for the new season.
Over the next couple of posts I will list 1 way (just 1 way, many have lots of things to do but I’ve tried to list what I think is the most important) in which I think each of the players could improve their game.
#1 – Ryuichi Kamiyama Has done well this season to improve it but still needs to come out for more crosses. Has always been good at shot-stopping, but is also quite good at catching as a big guy. In the modern game will generally be given some protection by the referee so should aim to come out a bit further.
#23 – Yuichi Mizutani I can’t say too much too Mizutani, he is a fairly finished goalkeeper. His only issue is with fitness. Only he really knows the extent of his injury problems but needs to do what it takes to stay fit for the remainder of his contract.
#25 – Eita Kasagawa Needs games more than anything but should look at tapes of Edwin van der Sar and how a modern keeper can also operate as a pseudo-sweeper to add something to his game which might see him get on the pitch.
#29 – Kim Yeong Gi Has to start getting games. Similar to Eita needs to pick something to really sell himself as. Is he a sweeper, a ball-player, a penalty-king. Do something to put him in the manager’s mind.
#2 – Kim Min Je A tough one. The obvious choice would be that he has to improve his defensive positioning, another might be to improve his crossing and move further upfield. Personally I’d say he needs to spend less time hitting the weights. You very rarely see a professional footballer with the physique he has, not one which stays fit for very long any way.
#4 – Takuya Miyamoto. Find a club which loves you. I’ve thought he was hard done by this season, he always did ok on the pitch, but sometimes things don’t work out.
There would be many lower half J2 clubs where he would start every game and get the confidence which comes with that.
#5 – Masahiro Koga. Talk to the club and see if they can adjust your contract to pay for Coaching badges and a role at the club to give you a career for the next 30 years. You can’t do it on the pitch any more and are in danger of making yourself unloved at a club where you could be loved.
#6 – Kazuki Yamaguchi. Remember you’re a decent all heart defender. When it comes to headeing the ball away and throwing yourself in front of shots there is no-one better at the club. Don’t try to do too much on the ball, give the ball to others to do that.
#13 – Park Kun. Don’t get too close to attackers. There have been numerous times this season when you’ve been turned by getting too close and allowing someone to drop their shoulder. Give a push when the ball comes in and step back for the movement, or commit yourself only if you know you’re getting the ball.
#19 – Shunsuke Tsutsumi. Be the best defender in the division. Even when he was something of a joke last year I always said I thought he could be the best defender at the club if he just got serious. Stay at the club, concentrate fully on each game, and he is the best footballer at the club and best defender in J2 2014.
#21 – Hiroyuki Omata. Just stay fit. If that looks like you can’t make a full season drop to a club which will give you a 3 year contract.
#22 – Tokio Hatamoto. You need to add some nastiness to your game. The manager needs to see you in training as a nasty piece of work who will come on and hurt someone. It is great to be nice off the pitch but change when you get on it. You don’t have the size to dominate, you need to niggle through attackers. I’d serious recommend a winter in England playing on park pitches and seeing how defenders will stand on toes, and kick people into the air if they look like they might beat them for pace.
#31 – Oh Chang Hyon. Find the tape of your first substitute performance for Avispa where you did 2 moments of insane skill in attack. Was that just a fluke or can you actually do that? As the best natural athlete at the club you have the pace to get back if you do make a horrible mistake, let’s see something which makes the fans hold their breath when you get the ball in the opposition half.
There has been some rumours that Level-5 were not going to renew their sponsorship of the stadium after their contract came up for renewal.
As one more stream of income into the club it was quite important to try and sort something out, and as of this week it has been confirmed that it will remain as Level-5 stadium for the next 3 years.
There has been a cost to this as the contract has dropped from 35 million yen to 30 million yen with the explanation being that attendances have dropped since 2008.
While this may be true (although I can’t see how it could be lower in 2011 when we were in J1) I would argue they have had greater exposure since they had in 2008. But if 30 million was the best offer available then it’s good money coming in, and it is a cool name with a proper link to football (Level-5 are developers of the popular Inazuma Eleven computer games).
The club need to make sure that the money is spent well now. Too often in the last 3 years money has been thrown away on a background office staff who haven’t even secured shirt sponsorship, and over-priced players.
As a measure of how quickly that 30 million could disappear;
- Makoto Tanaka was reportedly on 40 million yen every year.
- the total cost of Ramazzotti coming to the club (for his 4 substitute appearances and 1 goal): 40 million yen.
- Koga is currently part way through the most lucrative contract at the club but is basically unplayable.
Some nice goals and a decent performnace to end the season.
Who’ll be here next season? It was very useful to have both 19 year olds score, and think that apart from Jogo (who is likely leaving by his own choice) most of the players who started will have done enough to get themself a new contract.
Avispa Fukuoka 2 : 0 Fagiano Okayama
11′ Kanamori, 17′ Mishima.
There has been something of an optimistic feeling at Level-5 stadium in recent weeks in spite of some fairly poor performances on the pitch. After publicizing our financial problems the fans have got behind the club and are starting to look for positives rather than being disappointed about missing out on promotion.
There were plenty of things to be positive about in this game.
We played a 4231 formation with Punosevac usually as the furthest forward, but with Sakata, Ishizu and Kanamori able to drift between the different positions in the fluid attack we have been working on this season.
Jogo came back to play in what I’m guessing will be his last match for the club, and will have a better last memory than being injured in a poor defeat by Toyama.
With Jogo and Nakahara both filling the space in midfield we were able to take possession of the ball and had players with enough technical ability to play a short passing game through the middle. After 10 minutes we scored what I think is probably the goal of the season as Sakata picked out Kanamori on the edge of the box who worked a very nice 1-2 with a clever flicked pass by the tall Serbian with Kanamori finishing well.
Having watched Ishizu refuse to pass the ball for an hour against Ehime I hope he goes away and watches this goal to see that maybe it is a good idea to sometimes try to pass.
Having scored that really good goal we nearly did it again with another quick passing move which ended after Sakata’s back-heel picked out Punosevac but his final ball into the box was poor.
Fagiano weren’t really troubling us very much in attack, and their #25 in particular was being totally schooled by Mishima who has really made the right-back position his own this season. He ended up scoring what was a fairly fortuitous goal when his cross into the box ended up sailing into the top corner, but to get into the crossing position he had made an excellent run with about 8 step-overs.
So we were 2 -0 up with both goals scored by 19 year olds who would have been unlikely to get a game if it had been any of our previous managers.
We continued to make a few chances, and were solid at the back for the most part. Oh Chan Hyon did his best to try and score a 3rd contender for goal of the season in the match as he ran from his own half and shot from 25 yards, but his shot went well over. He should have passed but having got as close to goal as he did single-handedly he deserved the chance to score a wonder-goal.
As we went into the second half we continued to make chances, but again Ishizu was failing to pass to others in really good positions. It is hard to criticize him after the goals he has scored this season, but he has certainly got a bit too greedy in recent months which in turn can lead to other players not passing thinking that if he doesn’t pass to them why should they pass either when they can shoot.
Oh Chan Hyon and Tsutsumi were doing well in defence and Kamiyama made a very good diving save towards the end to maintain a clean sheet.
It may have been a fairly meaningless last game of the season but with 10 minutes to go you could see the players were trying to practice seeing a game out with a clean sheet.
We’ve finished the season with a win, the team which started this match is probably most of the players who will be at the club next season with the exception of Jogo who was definitely giving the impression of someone playing his last game and saying good-bye.
The players who weren’t involved will probably be on the way out, but there was enough on show here to encourage that we might be able to push for 6th place next season.