Today, the draw was made for the first round of the Emperor’s Cup (known in Japanese as Tennouhai or 天皇杯) and it was a very unkind one for the club.
Gifu were drawn away at fellow J2 side V.Varen Nagasaki, a very difficult assignment. In Gifu’s only visit to Nagasaki on league business, they were soundly beaten 3-0. This draw also means that Gifu travel the not inconsiderable distance to Nagasaki twice in a month with the Tennouhai game scheduled for July 12th and the league game slated for August 3rd.
Gifu’s recent record in the Tennouhai isn’t too hot. Since reaching the last 8 in 2009 they have been beaten at the first stage by Tochigi SC (2010), Giravanz Kitakyushu (2011), Roasso Kumamoto (2012) and Fagiano Okayama (2013).
Meanwhile, the winners of the Gifu prefecture football tournament will face the winners of neighbouring Shiga prefecture for the right to travel to J1 side Shimizu S-Pulse. FC Gifu Second will be looking at this as a great opportunity. Interestingly, there has already been a meeting between S-Pulse & Gifu Second in the Tennouhai – will history repeat itself this year?