J3 Preview: Machida Zelvia v Fujieda MYFC

Machida March

Well it’s back! Competitive action returns for Fujieda MYFC! J1 and J2 began last week and now it is the turn of the J3 league to commence.

In their inaugural match in the competition, Fujieda travel to Machida Zelvia. Both sides were in the JFL last season, winning one game each but there have been many personnel changes since. This result of this match could signal both sides’ ambitions for the rest of the season.

Fujieda MYFC team news
It’s very hard to tell what Fujieda’s side is going to be like this season. They have had a relatively successful pre-season, winning the majority of their practice matches. However, how much credibility these practice games should be awarded is debatable, with most not in the conventional two 45 minute half formats.

MYFC’s side has changed a lot since last season. There’s a new manager who has brought in his own staff and many of last year’s squad have left. The squad is now made up of the 11 remaining players from last year and 11 new players, mostly from local sides and universities.

This means anything can happen in the first game of the season. How Musashi Mizushima will shape up is unknown right now but he still has the likes of last year’s Following Fujieda Player of the Season Ken Hisatomi and former Japan international Daisuke Ichikawa to call upon.

His also has striker Tsugutoshi Oishi, who has been prolific in the lower leagues. It will be interesting to see how he makes the step up to J3.

Machida Zelvia fact file
Machida Municipal Athletic Stadium
Naoki Soma
Last season:
4th (JFL)

After a solid fourth place finish last year, Machida Zelvia’s squad has been significantly boosted by a number of new signings from J1 and J2 teams. They also have a new manager in the form of returning boss  Naoki Soma, who also managed Zelvia in 2010.

One notable addition to their squad is goalkeeper Toshiyasu Takahara, who joined from J1 side Shimizu S-Pulse. Takahara played only two games last season, one being the Emperor’s Cup match againsy Fujieda, where he kept a clean sheet in a 2-0 win. Altogether, the 33 goalkeeper has over 60 games experience in the J League.

Another new player of some note is  former FC Gifu midfielder Ri Han-Jae. Ri has over 100 games experience in J1 and J2, having played for Sanfreece Hiroshima, Consadole Sapporo and Gifu. Last year though, he made only 12 appearances in J2. The 31 is a former North Korea international.

With the additions Machida have made, it could be a tough trip for Fujieda but the match is anything but predictable as we will have to wait and see which side has gelled better in off-season.

Last season’s result
Last year when MYFC travelled to Machida, they lost 3-0.

Kick off
The match is on Sunday at 13:00 local time or 04:00 UK time.


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