It comes as no big surprise that Nakamachi and Rokutan have both left the club today, and it wasn’t a very well guarded secret that both have signed for Yokohama F Marinos.
I think that their time to leave the club had probably arrived as despite putting in good performances at the club during their time they didn’t finish the season well and will probably both benefit from a fresh start.
Arrived at Avispa in 2010 as a player returning to football after 2 years out of professional football at Keio University. The break seemed to have done him some good as he had an incredible season in our promotion year being the best player at the club and scoring 10 goals while running the midfield.
It was no big surprise that he came runner up as J2 Player of the Season (2nd to Leandro Dominguez) and was duly installed as Captain of the club for our return to J1.
While Leandro Dominguez continued to be a standout player, things didn’t go so well for Nakamachi as the 2 man Avispa midfield got regularly outclassed, and then he got injured a third of the way through the season.
He never looked that comfortable in J1, and the goals which marked his time in J2 (especially those with his head, as he is a good header of the ball for his relatively small height) dried up.
He could turn out to be a good player for Yokohama F Marinos as he will have better players around him in the midfield which may take some pressure off him. He doesn’t seem to cope when things aren’t going well, something which dropping out of the game from Shonan Bellmare to go to University might indicate.
Got married to karate-ka Miki Waterhouse during his time at Avispa.
I hope he does OK at Yokohama and can start enjoying the game again as he didn’t look to be having much fun towards the end of the season when he was on the bench more often than not and not looking like the player he did in 2010. A season back in J2 as the best player on the pitch might have been exactly what he needed.
As soon as Kamiyama signed a new contract it was apparent that Rokutan would probably be leaving. Having two goal-keepers of very similar standard and age isn’t very good for either of them as a goal-keeper needs to know he is safe in the team (or back-up), rather than playing with the knowledge that all his mistakes may end up costing him his position.
Rokutan came in for Kamiyama mid-season after some terrible mistakes and actually improved the team a bit. He doesn’t have the pure shot-stopping skill of Kamiyama, but is quite a bit more consistent.
I hope he isn’t going to Yokohama thinking he might be able to get into their first team as he is nowhere near good enough for that, but should be able to be at a high achieving club and be a safe substitute keeper and be happy in that role.
My slight concern is that as with most goal-keepers he has quite a hot temperament and might genuinely think he should be more than a bench player. This temperament showed itself at the end of a game last season when he had to be held back from the crowd after a game when someone shouted at him to start saving some shots.
He has no particular key strength, but also has no obvious weaknesses and could be relied upon to sit on the bench for 34 games next season and not let anyone down if he had to come on for 15 minutes if the first choice goal-keeper gets himself sent off.
If the first choice goalkeeper snaps his cruciate ligament on the first game of the season and Rokutan plays all year I’d forget about the title for another season.