Christmas Outs.   Leave a comment

A few players have left the club over the Christmas break, with one in particular being a bit of a shock.
Some more have joined and a couple re-signed for another season, which I will talk about in a future post, but first the player who are now ex-players.

Out
Hideya Okamoto
I was expecting him to go after scoring 8 goals in the top division meant that he probably wanted to continue at that level, and there would be a few clubs who would be willing to give him a contract.

A little surprised that he is going to Kashima Antlers who looked like they had the best team in the division when I saw them last year and should be pushing for the title next season.

He will probably do well for them as a versatile forward who won’t be expected to do so much to help midfield at a better club and can be assessed solely on his goals (at Avispa I often thought the team needed someone who was going to do more work in getting the ball back).
Rough translation of his farewell comment…”Thankyou very much for 3 years. I am filled with gratitude for the supporters at Avispa. Even at my next club I’ll remember I grew up at Avispa. Thanks for the support, I’ll do my best.”

Takuya Matsuura
It was always to be expected that he would return to Jubilo at the end of his season loan after playing well in J1, but a part of me had hoped he would see how much he had developed by getting over 30 games for Avispa and try to stay in the city.
By the end of the season he was a much better player than the start, and I suspect that he will be a substitute at best back at Jubilo as they have other established young midfielders.
I hope he continues to get game-time, and will be watching for him next season.
Goodbye comment…”Despite only playing for the short period of 1 year I was very encouraged by your warm support and tried to play hard. A year in Fukuoka was a wonderful experience for myself and I am very grateful. I want to grow again from this experience and will support in the future. Thanks for your support”.

Daiki Niwa
I’m not at all surprised that after 4 years on loan from Gamba Osaka Daiki returns to his mother club.
It is probably a deal which suits all parties with this ongoing loan deal not making a lot of sense for Avispa, Daiki looking a little jaded at the end of last season, and a new manager at Gamba who wants to take a look at his players.

I think Daiki will feel a little disappointed about how things went in J1, and probably wants a chance to give it another shot this season with a regular centre-back partner and goal-keeper he can trust.
I’d be disappointed if he turns up on loan at another J2 club, but expect that he may now try to work his way into the Gamba squad.
A nice guy, but now gone and leaving a huge hole in the Avispa defence.
Leaving comments…”Thank-you for your encouragemnet over the last 4 years. I’ll treasure the time I had at Level-5 Stadium. I ran until the last second of the last minute thanks to the support and cooperation of everyone at Avispa Fukuoka. My words are filled with gratitude to the people at Avispa Fukuoka. Thank-you for 4 years.”

Yusuke Tanaka
Finally the shocker.
There are few players at the club who I would have expected to leave less than Yusuke, let alone leave for another J2 club, but after being courted for a couple of season he has decided to go for a change of scenery at JEF United.

After 11 years at the club, from the youth squad to now, in which he has established himself as a big crowd favorite he will now be heading to a new club which as Genki Nagasato showed last season can be a difficult move.

He has definitely lost some of his pace, but had seemingly re-invented himself as an attacking full-back and was one player I was really looking forward to seeing in this role next season. I don’t know where JEF will play him next season, but doubt their fans will allow him mistakes from full-back as Avsipa fans would.

He should get a decent reception on his return to Level-5, but it seems a strange move to me.
Farewell comment… “Including the youth team I have been at Avispa for 11 years now. I have experienced many things and grown as a player. I’m very grateful to the club, fans and supporters. The choice to transfer is very difficult, but feeling I need to grow more and have a new environment I decided to transfer. Thank-you for 11 years.”

I’ll list some players who have transferred into the club in my next post.

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Posted January 5, 2012 by avispafukuoka in News

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