Been away for a while, preparing myself for the season finale, but what a story to come back to!

A report in today’s Sponichi (here) says that should Gifu stay in  J2 next year, they plan to hire ex-Japanese international Rui Ramos as the manager next year. If you leave aside the fact that should Karashima keep us in J2 it will have been a great achievement, the potential appointment ticks a lot of boxes.

1. Profile. Gifu, despite it being a beautiful place with lots going for it, is quite provincial. The hiring of a Japanese football icon like Ramos would provide FC Gifu (and Gifu itself) with instant publicity.

2. Bums on seats. The rumour was only released this morning, but already lots of people have commented that they would like to see Ramos. If the club gets an initial surge of support, and can manage to keep some of those people then it will be a big boost to the club.

3. Money. Ramos’ latest gig was advertising cool summer shorts for Uniqlo, the Japanese clothing behemoth. It gives you a quick idea of how high his profile still is, and money tends to follow high profile sports people. And lord knows Gifu need the money.

4. Attraction. Attracting players to Gifu is always going to be a problem, based on location & resources available. Having a figurehead like Ramos in negotiations could sway more people to move to the club.

Of course, as I alluded to earlier, this would be very harsh on the current coach, Keiju Karashima, should he keep us in the league. Still, I would hope that he gets kept on in some role. All of this posturing is moot until FC Gifu’s J2 future is secured. Let’s concentrate on that first.

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