Sunday, 1 May 2011

Agent Orange: All In The Family

Armed only with the standard researcher's tools of a dog-eared J-League Players' Guide, a gross of Crunky bars and a bucket of diet Cola, Agent Orange set out to find the extent to which a certain level of J-League clubs - let's say just for example Wednesday's opponents Omiya and Ventforet Kofu - are merely choosing from the same small pool of players and hoping that a random combination will work will for them. The evidence would suggest that this is exactly what's happening. For here is a summary of Ardija's connective bond with Kofu.

1. Current Ventforet coach Toshiya Miura coached Squirrels squad members Shin Kanazawa, Hayato Hashimoto, Yosuke Kataoka, Chikara Fujimoto and Koji Ezumi in his stint at Omiya.

2. He also coached Shusuke Tsubouchi in his stint as manager of Consadole Sapporo.

3. Omiya defender Arata Sugiyama played for Ventforet Kofu for seven years until 2009.

4. Ardija coach Jun Suzuki had two Kofu squad members play for him when he was in charge at Montedio Yamagata, namely Teruaki Kobayashi and Toshihiko Uchiyama.

5. Uchiyama, Kobayashi and Kota Ogi were all teammates of Tsubouchi and Norio Suzuki while at Vissel Kobe. Goalkeeper Ogi, along with Daisuke Tomita, Hiroki Aratani and Tomoya Uchida, all were previously members of Omiya as well as current VFK head of personnel Satoru Sakuma.

6. Forward Minoru Matsuhashi was a former team-mate of Tsubouchi and Yuki Fukaya during his time at Oita Trinita.

7. Atsushi Katagiri just makes the list because he was a squad member at Nagoya Grampus with Chikara Fujimoto way back in 2003.

8. Yuji Yabu also makes the list because he spent time as a team-mate with Kazuhiro Murakami in Kawasaki Frontale.

9. Paulinho and Daigo Watanabe shared some laughs back at their time donning the purple of Kyoto Sanga.

10. Yoshiro Abe teamed with Koji Ezumi in Oita, Norio Suzuki in FC Tokyo, and Naoki Ishihara in Shonan Bellmare.

11. Genki Nagasato also teamed with Ishihara at Shonan.

12. Yusuke Inuzuka and Kota Ueda were former squad mates at Jubilo Iwata.

13. So how about guys with absolutely no connection to the other squad, team-mates as coaches? At Ventforet, Mike Havenaar, Rudnei, Milan Kabe, Daisuke Ichikawa and Teruyoshi Ito have no apparent connections to Omiya while young Squirrels Shintaro Shimizu, Kim Yong Gwon and Keigo Higashi can say the same thing about Kofu.

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