JEF United Ichihara Chiba
|Full name||JEF United Ichihara Chiba|
|Nickname(s)||JEF, Inu (The Dogs)|
|Ground||Fukuda Denshi Arena
|League||J. League Division 2|
|Website||Club home page|
JEF United Ichihara Chiba (ジェフユナイテッド市原・千葉 Jefu Yunaiteddo Ichihara Chiba?) is a Japanese professional football club that plays in J. League Division 2. On February 1, 2005, the club changed its name from JEF United Ichihara to the current name after Chiba city had joined Ichihara, Chiba as its hometown in 2003. The club name, JEF -taken from JR East and Furukawa Electric- and United, represents the unity of the team and its home town. The club is also known as JEF United Chiba (ジェフユナイテッド千葉 Jefu Yunaiteddo Chiba?) or JEF Chiba (ジェフ千葉 Jefu Chiba?).
The team began as the company team, Furukawa Electric Soccer Club (古河電気工業サッカー部?) in 1946. As the company team, it won the Japan Soccer League twice, the Emperor's Cup four times and the JSL League Cup three times. Furukawa also won the 1986-87 Asian Club Championship, the top club honor in Asia; they were the first Japanese club to do so.
Since the league's inception in 1965, the team had always played in the top flight in Japan and was the only Japanese team to never be relegated from the JSL1, a record they kept into the J1 years. They did finish the 1978 season in a relegation position (last of 10) but stayed up after beating Honda F.C. 1-0 on aggregate in a two-legged playoff. The last place was not automatically relegated until the 1980 season.
In 1991, it merged with the JR East's company team to become East Japan JR Furukawa Football Club (東日本ジェイアール古河サッカークラブ?) and rebranded itself as JEF United Ichihara upon the J. League's founding in 1993. The team initially built itself around the former Germany national football team player Pierre Littbarski.
From 1998 to 2000, the team struggled to stay in the J1 league and it began a series of efforts to be a competitive team. Since the hiring of Ivica Osim in 2003, JEF United has contended for the league title each year despite limited resources and struggling attendance.
On July 16, 2006, Osim left the team to take over the coach of the Japan national team and was succeeded by Amar Osim, his son and assistant coach.. On December 5, 2007, it was announced that Osim had been sacked after the club's lowly 13th place finish in the 2007 season.
After 13 games in the 2008 season Josip Kuže was sacked as team manager. On 8 May 2008 it was announced that the new manager was Alex Miller. Miller was First Team Coach at Liverpool FC alongside Rafael Benítez prior to joining JEF United.
On November 8, 2009, JEF United Chiba was relegated to J2 after 44 seasons in the Japanese top division; since 2010, JEF United Chiba is playing for J. League Division 2.
JEF United Chiba was close to be promoted do J. League Division 1 at 2012 season. The club was considered one of the most favourites do get direct promotion to J1. But, after defeats to teams considered inexpressives like F.C. Gifu and F.C. Machida Zelvia, JEF played the playoffs to get the 3rd spot do J1. They defeated Yokohama F.C. by 4-0, but they lost the final match to Oita Trinita by 1-0, at Tokyo National Stadium.
It had played its home matches at Ichihara Seaside Stadium, but has since moved to the larger, football-specific and more conveniently located Fukuda Denshi Arena, which opened in Chiba during the 2005 season. The club had initially practiced at Urayasu, Chiba planning to base itself in Narashino, Chiba before opposition by those living around Akitsu Stadium forced it to be based in Ichihara. Since 2000, training has been held at Footpark Anesaki in Ichihara.
Furukawa Electric Chiba
This was JEF's reserve team during the JSL years. They were formed in 1967 and were first promoted to the JSL Second Division in 1975. They still exist, although they are no longer affiliated on paper, and play in the Kanto Regional League. In 2008 they renamed themselves S.A.I. Ichihara
Record as J. League member
|Season||Div.||Tms.||Pos.||Attendance/G||J. League Cup||Emperor's Cup|
|1994||J1||12||9||22,262||2nd Round||2nd Round|
|1996||J1||16||9||12,008||Group Stage||3rd Round|
|1999||J1||16||13||5,774||2nd Round||3rd Round|
|2004||J1||16||4||10,012||Group Stage||4th Round|
|2007||J1||18||13||14,149||Group Stage||4th Round|
|2009||J1||18||18||14,730||Group Stage||4th Round|
- Tms. = Number of teams
- Pos. = Position in league
- Attendance/G = Average league attendance
- Japan Soccer League: (2) 1976, 1985
- JSL Cup: (3) 1977, 1982, 1986–87
- Emperor's Cup: (4) 1960, 1961, 1964 (shared), 1976
- Japanese Super Cup: (1) 1977
- Asian Club Championship: (1) 1986
- All Japan Works Football Championship: (3) 1959, 1961, 1962 (shared)
- All Japan Inter-City Football Championship: (4) 1959, 1960, 1961, 1964
- J. League Cup: (2) 2005, 2006
As of January 20, 2014. Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Out on loan
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
International capped players
|Ivica Osim||Bosnia and Herzegovina||2003–2006|
|Amar Osim||Bosnia and Herzegovina||2006–2007|
|Champions of Asia
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