Today’s meet the players will focus on MYFC’s second oldest player, Toshiya Ishii.
Name: Toshiya Ishii
Joined Fujieda: January 2010
2012 appearances (goals): 28 (1)
Despite being born in Fujieda, Toshiya Ishii’s first club was J League Division 1 side Urawa Red Diamonds. He signed for the Reds in 1996 after graduating Shizuoka Gakuen High School, not too far from his birth place. He spent his first season in professional football learning the game and made his first appearance in 1997 in a 2-1 win over Omiya Ardija in the second round of the Emperor’s Cup. He then went on to play in the next round but his side’s cup run ended with a 2-1 loss to Gamba Osaka.
Despite making two appearances in the cup, Ishii had to wait yet another for his first appearance in J1 but it was worth the wait as he went on to feature in 32 of Urawa’s 34 league matches that season and also grabbed his first senior goal. This was a sign of things to come, as when he left the Red’s at the start of the 2003 season, he had made 141 league appearances for the side.
Ishii then joined Vegalta Sandai but could not stop their relegation to J2. After his first ever year in Japan’s second tier he moved to Kyoto Sanga, where in four seasons he experienced two promotions and two relegations as Sanga flirted with J1. He then moved on to Roasso Kunamoto in 2009 where he had arguably his best ever season, playing 43 matches and scoring three goals.
However, the midfielder felt it was time to move on and he returned to his home town club where he has been instrumental in MYFC’s rise to the JFL. Two successful seasons in the regional leagues meant promotion to Japan’s third division and last season he played 28 games and scored one goal proving despite his age, he was still crucial to Toshihide Saito’s plans.
An experienced pro now and sitting in front of the back four for Fujieda, Toshiya Ishii is showing no signs of slowing down and has already played in three of the four games this season, assisting Takahiro Tanio’s goal in this year’s 2-0 away win over Mio.