Monday, 6 September 2010

Tonan Maebashu (Japan)

Tonan Maebashi SC are a much loved club from the Gunma Prefecture of Japan's main island of Honshu, who play in the second division of the Kanto League - the fifth tier of their national game, and part of the nine Japanese regional Leagues. They come from Gunma's largest city, Maebashi, which is the furthest of all the country's Prefecture capitals from the sea.

They were founded in 1982 as Tonan SC Gunma, and joined the Gunma Prefecture League soon after. They were successful pretty quickly, and soon worked their way through the local divisions, and by the turn of the century they found themselves in the rather complicated All Japan Regional Promotion League Series, where all the Regional League winners, the top four runners up, plus a scattering of other cup winners, university teams and FA defined wild cards all take part in a tournament to establish who gets promoted to the National League. This, however, isn't always the team who wins the tournament, and the number of promotees can years from year to year between on and four clubs. As yet, Tonan haven't been successful at this stage, although their time will surely come!

They changed their name to Tonan Maebashi in 2008, as their original home town of Ogo was absorbed, along with a few other nearby towns and villages, into Maebashu a couple of years before - so they thought they'd better change their name accordingly. At least that's what I think happened - Japanese is notoriously difficult to translate via the internet, so if I have got all this magnificently wrong and you know anything more about the club than I do, then please do put me right!

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1 comment:

  1. I am actually surprised they have fans in Kyushu (per the banner in the stand), as Kanto region, like the English Northwest, is OVERSATURATED with league and non-league clubs.

    The big league team in Maebashi, Thespa Kusatsu is actually playing there because their hometown, Kusatsu in the mountains near the Niigata prefectural line, has no proper stadium.