Last weekend, Tokushima Vortis beat Kyoto Sanga 2-0 to win the J2 play-off final and with it a place in J1 for 2014. As has been the norm for Vortis this year, Tomohiro Tsuda was at the heart of their win, his supremely confident goal giving the team a crucial two goal cushion and with it the confidence to hold off Sanga in the second half.
What most people might not know is that Tsuda hails from Gifu. Born in the city of Kakamigahara, just to the east of Gifu city itself, (and a city that is famous for kimchi. I know what you’re thinking – kimchi is Korean. But they make a hell of a lot of it in Kakamigahara too) he played his youth football in Gifu with a well known local club called Gifu Vamos before moving to nearby Nagoya Grampus.
Gifu Vamos is a highly regarded youth football club that has produced a number of professional players including Tsuda, Tsukasa Msauyama (FC Gifu), Kota Ogi (Kofu), Naoaki Aoyama (Kofu) & Japan’s next big thing Taro Sugimoto, who will join Kashima Antlers next year.
So when Tokushima Vortis start their opening J1 game next year, many people from this part of Japan will be cheering them on, wanting to see a local boy do well.