Thursday, January 24, 2008

Some more news

Today Cerezo announced the signing of anoter brazilian, and with that filling up the last vacant foreign spot in the team.
Careca (pictured) ,who spent the latter half of the season at Thespa last year has been brought in. There's been rumours about this move for some time now, and now it's seems like it's been finalized.
Careca played 19 matches for Thespa last season, and found the net on 4 occasions. Cerezo fans will probably remember him for the 2 goals he scored against us in one of the last matches which literally ended our promotion hopes. Careca also has a unsuccessful spell at Ventforet Kofu a few years back, where he only played 5 matches.

Personally I'm not sure if Careca is the right player to bring in for several reasons. First, Cerezo got Furuhashi, the younger Morishima, Komatsu and Kakitani from before to fill the 2 forward spots and really, do we need another one? Furuhashi is certain to be one of the starters ( unless he plays as as winger instead), and that leaves Careca battling it out with Morishima and Kakitani, who are 2 of the most prominent and talented strikers Japan have, as well as Komatsu, who had a great run midway through the season last year. Second, I question how good Careca really is. His record at Thespa and Kofu suggests he's not such a great player, but perhaps he'll fare better when he got better team-mates? I guess the jury is still out on him, and hopefully Levir Culpi knows what he's doing. Nothing would be better if Careca turned out to be a 20+ goals striker, but right now I don't see any reasons why Careca should be preferred over the likes of Kakitani and Morishima. Anyway, Welcome to the club!

Our 2 other brazilians will be with us this season as well, as Germano just made his rental-move from Atletico Mineiro permanent and Ale extended his rental-contract from Botafogo by a year. Great news, and I think especially Germano will turn out to be a good player for us this season.

Andre Luis Neitzke, who's been rented out to Tokushima Vortis the last 2 seasons will stay there at least one more year. Neitzke have played around 40 matches for Tokushima during his spell there, and hopefully he can become a regular starter this season.

Finally, the schedule for next season is ready, and our first 5 matches look like this:
9/3 Mito Hollyhock (Away)
15/3 Montedio Yamagata (Home)
20/3 Sagan Tosu (Away)
23/3 Vegalta Sendai (Home)
29/3 FC Gifu (Home)

A fairly easy opening, and I expect at least 4 wins from those 5 matches.



Shinji Kagawa (pictured) and new signing Kento Shiratani is currenty in Qatar where the Japan U19 team is playing a tournament. Japan has done quite well so far, with a thumping 3-0 win over Egypt in their first match, as well as a surprising 4-2 win over Germany. Kagawa got on the scoresheet in both matches and has as usual been a very important player for Japan. Shiratani, who's a striker, has started both matches but haven't managed to score any goals yet.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Latest News

Some more updates:

Cerezo FW Takuya Kokeguchi (pictured) has been rented out to J1 club JEF United for 1 year. Personally I find that a bit sad, as Kokeguchi is one of my favorite players. He never really managed to break into the first-team, but were involved in 27 matches last season, and got on the scoresheet once. Kokeguchi is perhaps more a wing than an attacker, but is capable of filling both roles. That a J1 club wants to rent him ( usually it's the other way around, that J2 clubs rent out-of-favour J1 players) just underlines that Kokeguchi is a talented player. Unfortunately for Takuya, Cerezo have great coverage both up front and on the wings, so perhaps this is the best solution for him. Time will tell if he will get any playing time at Fukuari Stadium, but either way he will gain important experience.

Takashi Tokushige is another forward leaving Nagai, as he made his loan move to Kyoto Sanga permanent a few days ago. Tokushige is an experienced striker with a lousy goalscoring record. Only 20 goals in 147 league appearances is not good at all. Actually his best season were last year at Kyoto, when he scored 8 goals and had 12 assists in 45 matches.

There's been some changes in staff as well,. with assistant coach Takashi Ikoma transferred to Jubilo Iwata and physio Kenichiro Nakanishi being released.

The 17th of January Hiroaki Morishima became a father for the first time to a little girl. Hopefully Hiroaki will recover from his long-term injury and find enough time now that he became a father to be an important player for us this season as well. He's not getting any younger, but his sheer presence in the squad is important for the younger players.

Another fringe player has left, as DF Tetsuya Yamazaki's contract expired. Yamazaki transferred back to Oita Trinita, the club which he came from when Cerezo bought him a few seasons ago. Yamazaki only got 28 appearances in 3 seasons for us ( none last season). I will be surprised to see if Yamazaki will be a regular for Oita, but he have almost 70 J1 matches under his belt, so he's not a bad player.

Cerezo has gotten a new president as well. Nobuyoshi Fujita took over the reign from Hideyuki Idehara today. Fujita has been with Yanmar LTD for almost a lifetime, and have occupied several positions including President of Yanmar LTD Hokkaido and Managing Director of Yanmar LTD. Fujita is originally from Ehime, which might be a problem when we play them :-)
He's an experienced guy though, and seems like a good choice.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Ze Carlos debut for Botafogo

Former Cerezo player Ze Carlos made his debut for Botafogo some days ago, in a tournament called "Peregrino Cup" involving brazilian and norwegian clubs. Ze Carlos scored a nice goal in the 11th minute in a match Botafogo won 2-0 over the norwegian club Stabæk IF.

Here's a link to the goal:

http://webtv.tv2.no/webtv/?progId=205285

Botafogo and Ze Carlos are up against another norwegian team tomorrow, when they meet Viking FK.

*Updates*

It's been a while since my last update now, and the biggest news since then is that we've changed goalkeeper. We've lost a great player and a very pleasant guy in Motohiro Yoshida who transferred to Avispa Fukuoka a couple of days ago. Yoshida had a total of 175 appearances for us and played all 48 matches for us last season. Rumours has it Yoshida were giving a wage-cut, and instead opted for a move to Fukuoka although he wished to stay in Osaka. Yoshida's biggest achievement as a Cerezo player will be that he was elected for J1's Best Eleven in the 2005 season. Best of luck to Yoshida at Avispa, who looks to be a dangerous rival to Cerezo regarding promotion next season.

But as one goalkeeper left, another one came in. Takashi Aizawa has transferred from Kawasaki Frontale where he was demoted to the bench by NT goalie Eiji Kawashima.
Aizawa played 46 matches in J1 in the 2005 and 2006 seasons, which proves he's got quality. However, he didn't receive any playing time at all ( apart from 2 cup matches) last season for Kawasaki. Aizawa is 25 years old, and is definitely an interesting addition for Cerezo.With his 190cm, he's a tall one as well which is always positive if u're a keeper. I've never seen him play, but his record suggests he should be one of the top goalkeepers in J2.

2 Cerezo youngsters were selected for the NT U-17 team which is headed for a training camp in Mexico at the end of the month. DF Kojiro Shinohara and MF Takahiro Ogihara are the 2 players. I's good to see other players are coming up ater Kakitani/Kagawa etc.

Young GK Kenta Tanno has returned to the club after his one year long loan-spell at VF Nagasaki. Tanno only made one appearance at VF, and will probably only be a squad player for Cerezo next season.

Cerezo's target for the 2008 season is " J2 Victory = J1 Return". I will be surprised if Cerezo won't challenge for the title this year, and really, only promotion is good enough. We've got arguably the best squad in J2 now, so we're certainly good enough.

The annual Mizuno Cup is soon coming up, and the opponent there will be FC Tokyo. The match is to be played in Haruno in Kochi Prefecture on the 24th of February. Certainly a tough test, but not impossible :)

As a sidenote, Ze Carlos has found himself a new club, and has signed for Botafogo in the Brazilian Premier Division. Best of luck to him.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Transfers so far

Akemashite Omedetou!
Happy New Year to everyone :)

No major transfer moves for Cerezo just yet, and the only senior we've brought in so far is Omata from Shonan. Ze Carlos is of course our biggest loss, but with Cerezo opting to sell Kim Shin Young to Sagan Tosu instead of keeping him we still have one foreign spot open and Im sure Culpi and Gilmar with their excellent brazilian network can bring in a great player.

Here's the transfers so far :

In:
MF Kuroki ---> High School
FW Shiratani ---> High School
DF Hiroyuki Omata ---> Shonan Bellmare
DF Ryuhei Niwa ---> Vissel Kobe ( loan extended with 1 year)

Out:
DF Ze Carlos ---> Released
MF Ryuichi Dogaki ---> Kwansei University
DF Junya Yamashiro ---> Sagan Tosu
FW Kim Shin Young ---> Sagan Tosu
MF Daisuke Yoneyama ---> Tsagen Kanazawa
GK Daisuke Tada ---> Ehime FC
MF Takuya Miyamoto ---> Montedio Yamagata ( 1-year rental)