Last Friday the J.League announced the 2014 J2 fixtures and it seems FC Gifu have been handed a decent start, with three of the first four games at home.
March 2nd – Kamatamare Sanuki (H)
A lot of eyes will be focused on this game. Obviously a lot of people will want to see how the Ramos era starts in Gifu, but it is a massive game for Sanuki too as it will be their debut game in the professional leagues. I’m expecting a really large crowd for the opener.
March 9th – Kataller Toyama (H)
Gifu welcome their neighbours from the north in the second week. Last year’s meeting between the sides was an enthralling encounter that Toyama won 3-2 with a goal deep in injury time. If the entertainment value is similar this year, fans will be in for a treat.
March 16th – Montedio Yamagata (A)
This will be a difficult trip. After finishing outside the play-offs last year, I think Montedio will be in the play-off shake up this year. They have kept most of their goalscoring prowess (ie: keeping Nakashima, Hayashi & Yamazaki) as well as adding creative midfielder Diego. If they can tighten up at the back – which new signing form Tochigi SC Takefumi Toma will hopefully help with – I believe they can match any team in the division.
March 22nd – Shonan Bellmare (H)
In the first Saturday game for Gifu, they will welcome Shonan Bellmare, the Kanagawa team that were relegated from J1 last year. The last time Bellmare came to town, they were undone by a Koichi Sato hat-trick as Gifu won a memorable game 3-2.