In the last couple of seasons a number of players have left Avispa to try their luck elsewhere.
Some of them by choice of the club, more of them by their own decision to move on to ‘better things’. The opening weekend of the J1 season shows that sometimes it is better to stay where you are.
1) Genki Nagasato A hero at Level-5 stadium after a season where everything clicked for him and he scored 15 goals from the wing having had a mediocre career up to that point.
Left Avispa under a cloud citing problems with the club, and moved to Ventforet Kofu. Dropped out of favour there, and with a change of manager was sent off on loan to FC Tokyo.
This season : Back at Ventforet in J2 where he has had 4 minutes as a substitute at a game they had already won.
2) Kentaro Shigematsu Promising young player who has all the skills he needs to be an all-round forward, but who must get time on the pitch. Played half the season in J1 for Avispa before returning from his loan.
This season : Didn’t even make the bench for FC Tokyo in J1 and is 5th/6th in line for a striker position behind some very good forwards.
3) Hideya Okamoto Was a bit of a luxury player at Avispa, but did get games and scored when he had opportunities. Had he stayed he would have played a lot this season I guess.
This season : Stayed on the bench for Kashima as they failed to score and lost against Sendai.
4)Kosuke Nakamachi I understand why he left as his stock had dropped at Avispa, let alone in the rest of J-League football. Decided on a change in scenery rather than stay and build his form back in J2.
This season : Should probably get used to staying on the bench as that is where he will be most of this season. Didn’t play.
5)Yuji Rokutan Glad he left as we needed a clear 1st choice keeper and Kajiyama is going with it, playing well.
This season : On the bench, and all Yokohama fans will be hoping that is where he stays.
6)Tatsunori Yamagata Is going to play all the games this season, but at a time when he should be in his prime he has swapped a promotion chasing team to one who looks like they may struggle.
This season : Played both games, but his team have conceded 5 goals and are bottom of the table.
7)Tatsuya Matsuura Would have been a star at J2 level, but got given the number 11 shirt at Jubilo so maybe things will work out for him there.
This season : Started against Saporro, but was part of the team which couldn’t score against them and got himself substituted shortly into the 2nd half.
8)Daiki Niwa Probably about the right time for him to stop his loan deal from Gamba, and with their defence looking pretty terrible he might get some games.
This season : Stayed on the bench as his team’s defence was made to look ridiculous by a well-organised, but unspectacular Kobe team.
9)Jumbo Okubo probably would have stayed at Avispa, but ended up going to Monetdio and being with them as they got relegated from J1. Moved onto Yokohama FC after playing in the free agent game in pre-season. Is probably their youngest player.
This season : Has looked pretty good in attack, but is playing in a bad team and will probably finish bottom half.
10) Yusuke Tanaka After a long time at Avispa he moved up to Chiba saying he wanted a change of scenery. I would guess they offered him a load more cash too.
This season : Being used as a winger, but also being used as a substitute. 2 substitute appearances, but is about to see big mane signing Reginaldo come in and play in his position.
11) Takanori Nakajima He left us when we got promoted and may well point to the fact that he stood on the stage at the end of the year with a group of guys who had just won the League. I’d point to the fact he only got on the pitch 3 times.
This season : Not sure if the Kashiwa coach is even likely to know his name.
12) Rafael Ramazotti Arrived as the man who might be able to get us the goals to stay in J1. Took a while to get going and then only made 4 sub appearances with 1 goal.
This season : Has got on the pitch twice as a substitute for Zurich but not scored. Wish he’d looked at some history and seen what scoring a bunch of goals in J2 did for Hulk’s career.
There are other players who have left in this time and none have really gone on to a better situation than what they had at Avispa.
Some of them probably didn’t want to leave and I feel for them, but the ones who tried to leave to other places may have learned the grass isn’t always greener.