I hadn't noticed that, UA, and the large black rectangles do look a bit stupid now you come to mention it.
Kofu have kept a similar-ish design for some time now and the colouring in particular is great. The sponsor on the back is a noodle company called Hakubaku and this happily gives me the opportunity to mention once again that for some time they were sponsored by a TV magician called Princess Tenko.
Posts: 2913 | From: The Slow Lane | Registered: Apr 2004
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Very sadly, the Frontale website indicates that that particular item was a limited edition of just 200 - and they've all been snapped up by followers of the Blue Religion hopeful that Hulk will be able to biff in something akin to the 37 goals that he managed for Tokyo Verdy 1969 in J2 last season. But Tom, don't be downhearted. Here, wipe away your tears of disappointment with a tissue from inside one of these.
Yes, it's an official Kawasaki Frontale tissue box coverPosts: 2913 | From: The Slow Lane | Registered: Apr 2004
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You mean, there are no other candidates that might leap to mind at all? Mmm? Well, while you mull over the rights and - especially - wrongs of your frankly ill-conceived choice, one thing about which I can feel pretty confident is that the image below will dismiss from the minds of all OTFers once and for all the idea of taking any sort of interest in Gamba Osaka.
Ow my eyes. The true horror that Gamba will use in this season's Asian Champions LeaguePosts: 2913 | From: The Slow Lane | Registered: Apr 2004
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The Mighty Squirrels' online shop is closed for a lick of paint at the moment, so we shall all have to wait for a few days to see what merchandising joys 2008 is to bring. In the meantime, here's a national team photo special from today's Kirin Cup game with Bosnia Herzogovina.
The recent friendly Kirin Cup competition has provided some very encouraging news for the Japanese national side ahead of next week's opening 2010 World Cup qualifier with Thailand. Coach Takeshi Okada, back in charge after Ivica Osim suffered a stroke last autumn, has overseen a pair of games in the last few days and although the first was an uneventful goalless draw against Chile, there were more than enough positive signs to emerge from Wednesday's 3-0 win over Bosnia Herzogovina.
Okada had stuck with Osim's old guard for the Chile match and the subsequent contrast against Bosnia could scarcely have been more apparent. Teenage right-back Atsuto Uchida of J1 champions Kashima Antlers put in a top-class display and Yokohama F Marinos' Koji Yamase came off the bench to score twice in the second half, while the returning coach now seems set to dispense his predecessor's frustrating penchant for sticking with a crowd of distinctly average players from former club JEF United.
Koji Yamase. Get a load of that technique
Matched up against a much more physical opponent, Okada's team played to their strengths of quick passing and nimble movement, frequently tearing holes in the Bosnian back line via the likes of diminutive duo Vissel Kobe's Yoshito Okubo and Ryuji Bando of Gamba Osaka. Japanese fans have become used to disappointment after the Zico and Osim eras - but although the Bosnia game was just a friendly it looks to be a step in a very positive direction, as Japan set off on the road to South Africa 2010.
Meanwhile in Qatar, the U19 national side won the 7th International Friendship Tournament in impressive style. The squad was populated by a mixture of J-League youth teamers, university students and a good number of players still at high school, although it was Cerezo Osaka's Shinji Kagawa and the Jubilo Iwata pairing of Kosuke Yamamoto and Ryohei Yamazaki who emerged as the star performers.
In the round-robin first round group, the young Japanese overcame Egypt 3-0 and Germany 4-2 before slipping to a 1-0 defeat by Poland. A close semi-final with neighbours and rivals China ended in a 2-1 extra-time win for Japan, who in the final gained revenge for their loss to the Poles with a 6-1 thrashing, as Yamazaki notched up a first-half hat-trick.
Wolfman Makoto Hasebe
There have also been a few notable transfers in the last few days, with no fewer than three Japanese players confirming moves to Germany, where Junichi Inamoto already plays for Eintracht Frankfurt. Urawa Reds have offloaded former Feyenoord star Shinji Ono to Bochum after an unsuccessful injury-hit spell back in the J-League, while a more significant loss for the Reds is the departure of 24-year-old midfield lynchpin and heartthrob Makoto Hasebe, who is thought to have turned down Italian side Siena to sign instead for Wolfsburg.
Perhaps the most eye-catching deal, though, is that of former Jubilo defensive midfield player Naoya Kikuchi, whom OTFers may perhaps recall as having been sacked by his club last year after having been caught having sex in the back of his car with a fifteen-year-old schoolgirl. Kikuchi, who is now 23 and made the Japan Olympic squad in 2004, is making a bid to resurrect his career in the possibly unlikely surroundings of Carl Zeiss Jena, as they fight to avoid relegation from Bundesliga 2.
More from JEF United, including a clearer view of their new shirt; and from J2 new boys Roasso Kumamoto, as J-League clubs continue to launch their media profiles for the 2008 season, which begins on 8th March.
JEF United, L-R: Home, Away, Goalkeeper
The JEF squad - in its broadest sense - at their local Shinto shrine for traditional pre-season prayers
Roasso Kumamoto, L-R: Goalkeeper, HomePosts: 2913 | From: The Slow Lane | Registered: Apr 2004
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Here's a first view of 22-year-old midfielder Koki Mizuno in a Celtic shirt, for whom he's signed after the formal end of his contract with JEF United. Hoops coach Gordon Strachan has been quoted as follows:
“We’ve got to give Koki a wee bit of time because, unlike (Shunsuke Nakamura), who stopped off in Italy before he came here, he’s come straight in and the change in culture will shock him so he has to acclimatise on and off the pitch to Scottish football. Koki’s a pure, pure football player like Naka and we know that he took a wee while to get himself beefed up for the Scottish league but he did and he’s been absolutely fantastic since then.
“We give the players here a platform to see if they can adapt to playing Champions League football, pressure football and winning football every week and it’s up to them to take it. And we do feel that Koki can do that. That’s why we’ve asked him to come along and join us. We feel he has good things in his game and we feel we can add to them to make him an all-round player."
Okey dokey, KokiPosts: 2913 | From: The Slow Lane | Registered: Apr 2004
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Just wanted to say thanks for all these updates Furtho, but despite common opinion on this thread (and the godawful shirt) i'm actually a Gamba Osaka fan. Blame Mrs. Axel if you like (she used to live near the ground), but i've been to a match and even bought a badge and scarf. I was going to buy a shirt, it would be lovely next to my Bradford one, but they are around 15,000 yen in the club shop so I didn't bother. GO GAMBA!
Fair enough, Ale, and may Gamba Osaka bring into your life just as much joy as have Bradford City.
What have we got today? Well, there's FC Gifu's first-ever kit as a J-League team following their promotion from the JFL - with no sign as yet of a shirt sponsor - and also firm documentary evidence of what was Urawa Reds' slogan from last season.
You have to say they look a bit uncertain about all this
There have been over the last few days some bizarrely contrasting experiences for a trio of Japanese players in Europe. As mentioned on the Jewish Clubs thread, at the weekend Shinji Ono made his debut for Bochum in their Bundesliga clash at Werder Bremen, the ex-Urawa Reds man coming on as a substitute with 25 minutes to go and his team one down. Somewhat surprisingly to those who followed Ono's ineffective spell back in the J-League after having left Feynoord, he immediately chipped in with two assists as Bochum - and definitely not Wolfsburg - came from behind to win 2-1.
Things were a lot less positive, though, for Naoya Kikuchi - a recent signing for Carl Zeiss Jena, after being sacked last season by Jubilo Iwata - who after appearing in his side's cup defeat of Arminia Bielefeld twisted his knee in training and is expected to be out for four to six weeks. Meanwhile in Switzerland, former Kashima Antlers defender Koji Nakata suffered a collapsed lung and multiple rib fractures whilst playing in midweek for FC Basel against Young Boys.
Koji Nakata - painful, but not as painful as that Gamba shirt
Furtho, how did Koji Nakata end up with such a serious injury? Was he kicked in the side?
And you might want to correct a typo in the Ono section of your last post. It would have been truly surprising if Ono's late assists had led Wolfsburg to victory, as he is playing for Bochum. [insert smiley thing]
I should probably mention that Morimoto got another late winner for Catania the other week, though he continues to be a late sub at best.
Posts: 18670 | From: mediolanum | Registered: Jan 2006
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