As soon as the big stumbling blocks of Rokutan and Nakamachi were dealt with it was quickly announced about the rest of the squad had re-signed for another season at the club.
I’m quite surprised that all of them have signed up, which means that with the exception of Tatsunori at the start of the window all the players from last year have clubs sorted out (or are retired in the case of Makoto). It means that Avispa now have quite a big squad, but it would be nice if a couple of young players could be brought through the U-18 team of University.
Kim Min Je
The best news for me from this window so far is that Kim Min Je will be at the club again next year. I had pretty much given up on him being with us, and as my Player of the Season from last year I’m very happy about it.
His defending is a bit suspect, but that is bound to happen with someone who pushes forward as much as him and at 21 he is still a very young player and will get better with a season of J2.
Hopefully our new manager will be able to see how good he could be and give him the games as first choice left-back.
I think playing at left wing is definitely worth a consideration as the best crosser of the ball at the club, and pace to spare.
Someone I am less happy to see signed for another season is Takumi Wada. I don’t think he is a bad player, and had a couple of games last year when he was among our best players, but it is competition at left-back where we already have a few players.
He has received the reputation of the Angel of Death after getting relegated with Tokyo Verdy, Yokohama FC, JEF United and Avispa Fukuoka in his career (4 of the last 5 years!) but I think that shows a guy who is willing to play in a battle as he could have spent his career coasting at J2 clubs rather than fighting against relegation at the bottom of J2.
He does try to get forward from left-back, but without the quality of Kim, and is generally considered to be defensively stronger although he had a couple of terrible moments last year when he allowed balls to bounce in the box or players to get in front of him.
A very useful squad player, but if he starts ahead of Kim I’ll be annoyed.
I would have been very surprised if Suzuki Jun had left after a season when he got 30 games of J1 football, and a likely spot as first team central midfielder this year. A year in J2 now will show if he has what it takes to be a quality midfielder; if he does very well it could give him the confidence to push on, if he struggles against second division players his early promise will probably not materialise.
He wasn’t as good in attack as I had hoped he might last season, but he looked much better than I was expecting in a defensive midfielder role. Previously I’d thought he should play on the left of the attacking 3, now I think he is a harder tackler than Sueyoshi and should concentrate on being a defensive midfielder spreading long balls forward from a quarterback role. This will also help with is lack of dynamism.
Another player I didn’t really want to re-sign, but not because I think he is a bad player is Yutaka. Again I think he is a decent player, and could be very good at J2 level as he links play well and has a great shot, but we have some really good young strikers who have to be given more of a chance. A 31 year old striker who has had chances at J1 & J2 level when he was closer to his peak, and didn’t score lots of goals isn’t a very forward thinking strategy for success.
Hopefully he is very good on the training ground (and he seems a very nice guy so it is a possibility) and will help the development of Masato, Nishida, Ushinohama etc. but not be taking their spot in the team or on the bench.
Glad that he is signed for another season as he did pretty well last year, and seems like an intelligent defender, but he might find that competition for places is harder next year than it was in J1.
I think that our defence will actually be better next year, but should see Kobara starting as first choice alongside Koga and should be one of the better central defensive pairs in the division.
I’ve always thought that he could be used as a defensive midfielder if need be, but it looks like we have enough options now that that shouldn’t be necessary.
I guess that he is quite a cheap player to have on the books, and maybe he will get quite a bit better with a few more games under his belt, but should be considered a squad defender at best.
He has a decent long throw which is always quite useful, and will definitely be good enough for games against 2/3rds of the division.
That leaves the only player I haven7t heard anything about being Kentaro Shigematsu. I would have thought it was totally obvious that he was going back to FC Tokyo and will continue getting games from the bench in J1, but unless I have missed it I haven’t heard official confirmation of that as there was with Matsuura and Daiki.
Possible first team from the squad….
Kim Min Je………….Jogo…………….Naruoka…
Okada…….Omata…..Koga……O Chan Hyon