Sunday 17th July 2011
At the Sakai Soccer National Training Centre, Osaka
Osaka Syakaijin League Division 1
HIGASHI OSAKA 3 (8 33 59)
HOKOKU 2 (18 67)
Att 15 (h/c)
On Pitch S12
League Brochure FREE
Osaka Syakaijin League Division 2B
BAGGINA OSAKA 0
HERMANO OSAKA 1 (31)
70 minute game
Att 16 (h/c)
on Pitch S13
Kansai Joshi (Ladies) League
TAZKARAZUKO EL BAILE 1 (80)
KYOTO SHIKO 1 (57)
80 minute game
Att 34 (h/c)
On Pitch S10
No programmes at any game
Drinks from a multitude of vending machines
Food available from the clubhouse
So, you live in a city where building land is at a premium, so what do you do? That’s right you blow up a mountain, create some space, and dump the rubble in the sea. That dumped rubble island you call Sakai, build a bridge to it, and build a football complex.
And that dear reader is the Sakai Soccer National Training Centre in Osaka. The bald statistics do take some fathoming. 14 full size football pitches (5 grass, 9 4G), with a 3,032 seater mini stadium for pitch S1. 8 Futsal fields with 3 under cover with air conditioning. A cycling course, walking course, Sport square, 4 locker room buildings, and a Clubhouse. Oh, and its free to get in and the whole lot is powered by solar panels! Its little wonder that the mission statement is “Where no dream is too big!”
So it was genuinely a case of turn up and pick a game you fancied.
In Osaka once you drop down beneath J1, J2 and the JFL you get two divisions of the Kansai League, and below that you’re watching the Osaka Prefectoral, or Syakaijin Leagues. This league has a top division and below that several Division 2s as the league regionalises still further.
It was watching these games I became aware of the Japanese levels of administrative efficiency. Not only did all games have 3 officials, but a designated scorer too. Before the game she would ensure team sheets were handed in and all relevant statistics were properly recorded. Afterwards the paperwork was handed to a runner for despatch to the offices in the middle, and presumably then on on the internet!
The Kansai Ladies League was a nice league to watch with that side of the game doing so well in Japan. And with the whole safety issue being, well not an issue, the Ladies game will go from strength to strength.
So the games; typical of the genre. With the pitches superb, what you got was good passing play, but with very little “Nous” for want of a better word. Its clear that the coaching is excellent, with facilities to match, and you wonder just how far the Japanese game can go when experience can be added into the melting pot.
A word about the shortened games. When its 90% humidity and 35 degrees Celsius, who can blame them?