JEF United Ichihara Chiba

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JEF United Chiba
ジェフユナイテッド市原・千葉
logo
Full name JEF United Ichihara Chiba
Nickname(s) JEF, Inu (The Dogs)
Founded 1946; 68 years ago (1946) (Furukawa Electric SC)
Ground Fukuda Denshi Arena
Chiba, Chiba
Ground Capacity 19,781
Owner East Japan Railway Company(50%)
Furukawa Electric(50%)
Chairman Japan Akira Shimada
Manager Japan Takashi Sekizuka
League J. League Division 2
2013 5th
Website Club home page
old crest

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?).

History.[edit]

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 J. 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.[1]. On December 5, 2007, it was announced that Amar Osim had been sacked after the club's lowly 13th place finish in the 2007 season.[2]

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 F.C. alongside Rafael Benítez prior to joining JEF United.

On May 13, 2008, JEF United Chiba were linked with a move for Michael Owen whose contract renewal talks at Newcastle United FC have broken down because of a pay cut.

The Furukawa Electric is no longer the main sponsor of the club, a job these days taken over by Fuji Electric.

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 in J. League Division 2.

JEF United Chiba was close to being promoted to J. League Division 1 during the 2012 season. The club was considered one of the favorites to be directly promoted to J1. However, after defeats to teams considered lesser than them such as F.C. Gifu and F.C. Machida Zelvia, JEF played the playoffs, making their road to the final. They defeated Yokohama F.C. by 4-0, but lost the final match to Oita Trinita by 1-0, at Tokyo National Stadium.

Symbols[edit]

Stadiums[edit]

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.

Mascot[edit]

JEF United Ichihara's mascot characters are Akita Inu brothers named Jeffy and Unity. The squad number of Jeffy is 2 and that of Unity is 9.

Affiliated clubs[edit]

Furukawa Electric Chiba[edit]

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

JEF Reserves[edit]

JEF's reserve team played until 2011 in the Japan Football League, the third tier of Japanese football. But in 2011, the club announced the end of the B team because of financial problems.

Record as J. League Member[edit]

Season Div. Tms. Pos. Attendance/G J. League Cup Emperor's Cup
1992 Group Stage Quarter-final
1993 J1 10 8 20,273 Group Stage Quarter-final
1994 J1 12 9 22,262 2nd Round 2nd Round
1995 J1 14 5 15,418 1st Round
1996 J1 16 9 12,008 Group Stage 3rd Round
1997 J1 17 13 5,693 Quarter-final 4th Round
1998 J1 18 16 5,365 Final 3rd Round
1999 J1 16 13 5,774 2nd Round 3rd Round
2000 J1 16 14 6,338 2nd Round Quarter-final
2001 J1 16 3 7,818 Quarter-final Quarter-final
2002 J1 16 7 7,897 Quarter-final Semi-final
2003 J1 16 3 9,709 Group Stage Quarter-final
2004 J1 16 4 10,012 Group Stage 4th Round
2005 J1 18 4 9,535 Winner 5th Round
2006 J1 18 11 13,393 Winner 4th Round
2007 J1 18 13 14,149 Group Stage 4th Round
2008 J1 18 15 14,084 Quarter-final 4th Round
2009 J1 18 18 14,730 Group Stage 4th Round
2010 J2 19 4 11,689 4th Round
2011 J2 20 6 9,680 Quarterfinals
2012 J2 22 5 9,281 Quarterfinals
2013 J2 22 5 10,004 3rd Round
Key
  • Tms. = Number of teams
  • Pos. = Position in league
  • Attendance/G = Average league attendance

Honours[edit]

Furukawa Electric[edit]

JEF United Ichihara Chiba[edit]

Team players[edit]

Current Squad[edit]

As of 28 August 2014.

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Japan GK Masahiro Okamoto
2 Japan DF Kazuki Oiwa
3 Japan DF Akira Takeuchi
4 Japan DF Takashi Amano (on loan from Yokohama F Marinos)
5 Japan DF Satoshi Yamaguchi
6 Japan MF Yusuke Tanaka
7 Japan MF Yuto Sato
8 Japan MF Tatsuya Yazawa
9 Brazil FW Kempes
10 Japan MF Akihiro Hyodo
11 Japan FW Takayuki Morimoto
13 Japan MF Kei Yamaguchi
14 Japan FW Shohei Otsuka
15 Japan DF Masakazu Tashiro
16 Japan MF Kentaro Sato
No. Position Player
17 Japan MF Taisuke Nakamura
18 Japan FW Akira Toshima
19 Japan FW Ado Onaiwu
20 South Korea DF Kim Hyun-Hun
21 Japan GK Kempei Usui
22 Japan MF Ryosuke Yamanaka (on loan from Kashiwa Reysol)
23 South Korea MF Nam Seung-Woo
24 Japan GK Shun Takagi (on loan from Kawasaki Frontale)
25 Japan MF Sho Sato
26 Japan MF Haruya Ide
28 Japan MF Yamato Machida
30 Japan MF Kyoga Nakamura
31 Brazil FW Jair
32 Japan DF Itsuki Urata
33 Japan MF Shuto Kono (on loan from FC Tokyo)

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Japan DF Naoki Kuriyama (at Machida Zelvia)

International capped players.[edit]

JFA.
AFC/ CAF/ OFC.
UEFA.

Managers[edit]

Manager Nat. Tenure
Yoshikazu Nagai  Japan 1992–1994
Eijyun Kiyokumo  Japan 1994–1995
Yasuhiko Okudera  Japan 1996
Jan Versleijen  Netherlands 1997–1998
Gert Engels  Germany 1999
Nicolae Zamfir  Romania 1999–2000
Zdenko Verdenik  Slovenia 2000–2001
Jozef Vengloš  Slovakia 2002
Ivica Osim  Bosnia and Herzegovina 2003–2006
Amar Osim  Bosnia and Herzegovina 2006–2007
Josip Kuže  Croatia 2008
Alex Miller  Scotland 2008–2009
Atsuhiko Ejiri  Japan 2009–2010
Dwight Lodeweges  Netherlands 2011
Sugao Kambe (caretaker)  Japan 2011
Takashi Kiyama  Japan 2012
Jun Suzuki  Japan 2013–2014
Kazuo Saito (caretaker)  Japan 2014
Takashi Sekizuka  Japan 2014-

External Links.[edit]

Achievements
Preceded by
Daewoo Royals
South Korea
Champions of Asia
1986-87
Succeeded by
Yomiuri
Japan