The Avispa team are returning to Fukuoka today after what I hope has been a successful pre-season camp in Miyazaki.
The loss to Honda Lock will be seen as a negative, but I hope the team learned a lot from it, and Pusnik saw which players he can start to push towards being first team regulars.
After that match we had a comfortable win against a Kyushu Universities yeam, and then played J1 power-house Yokohama F Marinos in our final camp game yesterday.
The game was played over 4 ‘halves’ of 45 minutes and would have given the players a bit longer on the pitch than they have had in previous games.
It looks like perormances on the pitch continued to improve as we drew 2 of the halves 0-0, lost one 2-0, and won the other 1-0.
If you wanted to be positive you could say that we drew twice, won once and lost once meaning that we finished equal to Yokohama Marinos (if you wanted to be negative you could say we lost the match 2-1!).
Ishizu showed that he has the ability to score against top defences again as he scored our only goal.
It sets us up very nicely for our first ‘big’ pre-season match as we play Kashima Antlers at Level-5 Stadium on Sunday.
If anyone is thinking of coming to a game this season it is an excellent chance to see the club play against J1 opposition.
Tickets are 3000 yen on the door, and being a pre-season match I expect that it means you can sit in the posh seats which are much more expensive during the season.
I also expect that you would actually be able to see 2 games for the price of one as they play 2 sets of 90 minutes allowing all squad players to get a run out. I have had no confirmation of this, but in previous pre-season matches at Level-5 that is what has happened.
Beyond getting the chance to see almost all of the Avispa squad and learn a little about the players at the club you get the chance to see what the players at a top club in Japan are like with Kashima coming to visit.
They have lost their crown jewel this winter as Yuya Osako has left for Germany, but they still have some interesting players like the histrionic Davi, ex-NT players Ogasawara, Koji Nakata and Motoyama.
There has actually been a little snow in Fukuoka this week so you may get the chance to see a repeat of this piece of excellence from Koji Nakata.
To get to the stadium take the airport line to the airport. There is a shuttle bus at exit 4 of the subway station which goes to the stadium, or it is a 10 minute walk.
If you want to walk, turn left out of exit 4 and walk along the main road next to the airport runway. After about 8 minutes you will get to a 7-11. Turn left here and walk up the hill for 3 minutes to get to the stadium.