Home / Travel  / J2 Yokohama FC Shows Great Football

J2 Yokohama FC Shows Great Football

Japanese football has been constantly on the rise. Especially for the past few years, the awareness and following of their second division football is huge. Officially known as Meiji Yasuda J2 League, this league only

Junpiter Futbol_Yokohama FC _61

Japanese football has been constantly on the rise. Especially for the past few years, the awareness and following of their second division football is huge. Officially known as Meiji Yasuda J2 League, this league only professionalized in 1999 although second division football has been around for the past 40 years. Big and established clubs such as Cerezo Osaka, Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo, Shimizu S-Pulse, just to name a few are currently battling out at that level. With these few names, it is not difficult to understand why the second division remains competitive.

.

Fortunately, we were granted an opportunity by Japan Football Association (JFA) to cover one of the most exciting matches in the month of August 2016 – Yokohama FC hosting the current J2 leader, Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo. A match which saw the home team emerged victorious by upsetting their opponent by a goal to nil.

.

A hot summer in August where we couldn’t stand the heat any longer at Shin-Yokohama train station. We took a cab to Nippatsu Mitsuzawa Stadium, the homeground of Yokohama FC. The journey to the Stadium was comfortable but within 20mins, we felt the kiss of the sun again.

.

Welcoming us at the point where we have alighted from the cab were dozens of Yokohama’s supporters getting ready for the match which was scheduled to kick off at local time 6pm. Most of the supporters were already walking towards the Stadium so we just followed. Even if we are heading over all by ourselves, the neatly hung lamp posts’ banners along the walking pavement towards the Stadium would have directed us to the right direction without any challenge too.

.

.

Junpiter Futbol_Yokohama FC _14

 Junpiter Futbol_Yokohama FC _10

Junpiter Futbol_Yokohama FC _17

.

.

Just when we were thinking would there be any form of community or fans engagement activities, or simply say mini carnival-like arrangement at the 15,000 seater Stadium, our doubt was clear the moment we arrived at the mouth of the Stadium – no extravaganza setup but multiple mini small booths were setup for the fans. Then, it was about 1-hour to kick off, we quickly reported to the Media Table where we received our Media Passes. And what happened next, we received a terrible bad news – King Kazu was not even on the bench for the match.

.

Kazuyoshi Miura, or popularly known as King Kazu, is a true legend for Japanese football. The ever-green 49 years old forward is playing competitively and every goal which he scores is a record for the J.League. One of the highlights we hoped to achieve on this trip was to meet King Kazu. Having a few good decent shots of him from the pitch side would certainly enhance the entire experience too. However, we were disappointed to learn that King Kazu would not be involved in the match, not even on the bench. That was the worst development which we hoped to avoid but murphy law had its say.

.

However, the same murphy law applied again as lady luck insisted in visiting us. Japan Football Association (JFA)’s representative approached King Kazu and explained where we came from. Eventually, we had a precious photo taken with the Legend just at the Media area where Kazu entered from after parking his car!

.

Honestly, we noticed it was not easy to be able to meet up with the Legend in person, let alone a photo with him. Similar for the case of Shunsuke Nakamura, once we have gotten the approval to interview him via JFA, next we would have to seek approval from Nakamura’s club, Yokohama F.Marinos. And once his club approved your request, it moved on to the player’s manager. This entire process would take up to months or even to a year. That’s the professionalism level which the Japanese football is at currently. We had to thank JFA so much. One precious & memorable agenda was ticked off our from our list. Next, we moved on to the pitch for the match.

.

To view Photo of King Kazu, Click Here.

.

To read our Exclusive Interview of Shunsuke Nakamura, Click Here.

.

While we are walking past the Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo’s bench, we saw Shinji Ono, the former Feynoord’s Midfielder whom we have met once in Singapore during his visit late last year. We said hi to him and to our surprise, he remembered us! We continued to exchange a few more quick conversations in English before rushing off to get ready for the match. Whistle blown, our maiden J2 experience commenced.

.

To read our Exclusive Interview of Shinji Ono, Click Here.

.

.

Junpiter Futbol_Yokohama FC _29

Junpiter Futbol_Yokohama FC _35

Junpiter Futbol_Yokohama FC _56

.

.

We set up our shooting base at the away fans’ stand. The Hokkaido’s Ultras really needed no introduction as they sang on top of their voices to make the Stadium theirs that entire evening! For a moment, you were wondering which was the home team!

.

With the fans’ cheering at the back of Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo, the team was indeed the more dominating group. However, it was the home team which took their chances well and finished the match in perfect style in front of their supporters. A well-deserved home victory for Yokohama FC and because of that, it did make this particular trip of ours even more memorable.

.

We stayed all the way to the end of the match and captured whatever we deemed interesting with our cameras. Afterall, it was a rare opportunity for us as a media from Singapore to be covering the best football league in Asia. Most of the things and setups at the Stadium did look interestingly fresh to us though.

.

Before we left for the night, we thanked the Yokohama FC officials who had been very accommodative and helpful to us. We also had our last meet up with Shinji Ono again who happened to have changed, to share with him our experience there in Nippatsu Mitsuzawa. We told him that at any time if he were to be coming to Singapore, just let us know!

.

So immediately after that, we made our way on foot to the train station with a group of Hokkaido Ultras. Not forgetting to get ourselves a souvenir from Nippatsu Mitsuzawa, we bought a piece of King Kazu scarf from the merchandise store on the way out!

.

To view more photos of the Match, Click Here.

.

Special thanks to Japan Football Association (JFA), J.League, Yokohama FC, Puma Singapore & SingaCup, Singapore’s International Premier Youth Football Tournament.

.

Please follow and like us:

jun@junpiterfutbol.com

Review overview
NO COMMENTS

POST A COMMENT