This week, the club started the process of determining the playing squad for next year. The release list is never a happy time, but this year it was particularly shocking. The official list reads:
- GK – Shogo Tokihisa
- GK – Takahiro Takagi
- Defender – Shuto Tanaka
- Defender – Arata – Sugiyama
- Midfielder – Yusuke Sudo
- Midfielder – Hirofumi Moriyasu
- Striker – Yuki Nakamura
- Striker – Nazarit
Of course, the name that jumps out at you is Nazarit, Gifu’s top scorer this season. My guess is that he has offers from elsewhere, possibly in Japan and most probably from overseas and that he has decided to embrace a new challenge.
A lot of supporters are disappointed by Shuto Tanaka leaving. He has been at the club for six years and is a link to the past and the fledgling years of the club. A squad without Shuto is one that is difficult to imagine.
Yusuke Sudo is one who I thought would be at Gifu next year. I’m surprised the club didn’t see enough in him, because I saw a steely, strong holding midfielder.
Nakamura & Moriyasu were never really given a chance under Ramos, while Arata Sugiyama has been injured for the majority of the season.
Takagi & Tokihisa were victims of the decision to keep 4 goalkeepers this year, although they both have had a hand in bringing along young Gakuji Ota.
I sincerely hope all these players find good homes for 2015. They all did their bit for FC Gifu, and for that the supporters are thankful.