FC Gifu isn’t solely about the first team. The reserve team, FC Gifu Seconds, are currently three games into their season in the Tokai regional league division 1.
The team play their home games at a variety of locations across Gifu prefecture including the Nagaragawa Meadow, Kasamatsu Football centre, Ogaki and sometimes in Nakatsugawa, which is in the very east of the prefecture.
The squad is comprised of players who have just graduated from university, some players who have been released from “bigger” clubs and players that been brought in from other regional league sides. Last year, the Seconds finished runners up to FC Suzuka Rampole from Mie prefecture, with Rampole just pipping them to the title by one point.
The Seconds had started this year well, winning their opening two games against Toyota Sports Club and Yazaki Valente but were handed their first defeat of the season on Sunday when they lost 1-0 at home to Fujieda City Office. They will look to get back to winning ways when they travel to Shizuoka to face Azul Claro Numazu.
One player who has started the season well is forward Tomohiro Tanaka who has scored 3 goals in the first three games. He was one of a number of Fukuoka University football club members to go on a training trip to Spain earlier this year, spending time training with Hurucan Valencia’s youth set up. An article was featured on Goal.com’s Japanese site. They also have ex-pro players Jun Yanagisawa (ex-Reysol & Sagan Tosu) and Ryuji Kitamura, who is back at Gifu after a spell away at Matsumoto Yamaga.
One notable player to have passed through the Seconds on his way is Takuya Iwata. Iwata gained a sizable amount of fame as a Japanese player who played for Auckland City in last year’s World Club Championship.
I hope to get to a Seconds game or two this season, and I will try to keep up to date with them as much as possible.