Avispa made their triumphant return to the top flight, the players rejoiced on the pitch in anticipation of playing against the best teams in Japan, and it was announced that 5 of them would be spending the off-season looking for alternative employment.
It’s the time of the season when sad farewells have to be made, sometimes to players who have grown up with the club and never known anything else, with emotions running appropriately highly. I don’t fully understand the timing, but I suppose it does give players the chance to say good-bye to the fans in the last game of the season and gives the TV cameras a good chance to get some nice close-ups of grown men crying.
During the game against Consadole I had said to my girlfriend that it may well be Jumbo Okubo and Abe Shu’s last home games for the club, along with Kudo who everyone knew was going to be leaving. I’d said it more in hope than expectation and was really surprised when it was announced that Jumbo would no longer be ambling around for Avispa at the weekends. Abe Shu was less of a surprise, as were the other players released.
Tetsuya “Jumbo” Okubo.
I had filmed him for 1 minute of the game against Consadole after getting frustrated at his lack of effort/skill/technique and wanting to make a post about him saying that he had to go, but now that he has gone it seems a bit crass and unecessary.
Much better to celebrate the fact that for a couple of seasons he has provided some good times for the supporters, and scored some great goals.
Looking at some of his goals from seasons past he has scored some great ones, but despite getting promotion it hasn’t really worked out for him this season. He hasn’t looked confident, and his lack of energy and ability to hold the ball up saw him getting dropped halfway through the season.
He will make a very good striker for someone in the division. People say that Giravanz have a bit of cash at the moment. If they can find his 10m yen salary from somewhere they can pick up a talismanic striker, and hopefully Jumbo will find the goals again.
Was always likely to be leaving at the end of the season after the emergence of Sueyoshi this season. he would have come to the club expecting to be the 1st choice defensive midfielder, and hasn’t done a bad job every time he has got a game, but found himself competing with a local boy impressing a lot of people and Player of the Season Nakamachi for central midfield.
Would play every week for a team in the bottom half of the table.
Nagira was upset at the end of the season, but having only played a handful of games in the League this season he can’t have been that surprised to be leaving.
He hasn’t really improved a lot in recent seasons, and his fitness levels were not great in games when he did play, cramping up after 75 minutes. Could still be a good player at J2 level, but needs to be somewhere he can get a game regularly and try to recapture the form that made him a Japan U20 player.
I thought he looked really good in the game I saw him, but then didn’t get another opportunity, even from the bench. Is older than Miyaji, and probably not quite as good and must have known the writing was on the wall when Lee arrived and played well.
I’ve said many, many times on this blog that I think this kid is good. i even went so far as to make a T-Shirt in anticipation of the next big thing, but he never really got a chance.
He looked good when he came on, he scored for fun in the reserves, and will hopefully now go and prove to Avispa that they were wrong to let him go. Whoever signs him will be getting a decent player; high energy, bustling type striker.
Originally from Kitakyushu and Giravanz could do a lot worse than signing him and Jumbo to play in a little and large formation with Oyama doing the running to pick up Jumbo’s knockdowns.