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Monday 18th July 2011

at Big Lake Soccer Complex, Moriyama-Shi,  Shiga Prefecture.

Entry FREE

Programme for 2nd Game FREE (produced by the fans)

Drinks machines a plenty

12.30pm

Shiga Syakaijin League Divsion One

FC ZE ZE 5 (14 52 54 56 75)

FC KOGA 0

Att 2 (h/c)

@ Pitch A

2.30pm

Kansai League Divsion One

TOJITSU SHIGA 0

BANDITONCE KAKOGAWA 1 (14)

Att 66 (h/c)

@ Pitch B

So my last day in Japan, and the second with pouring rain! The first was the first. Now, this was possibly the first games I’ve ever done where I didn’t don’t quite know where exactly I was! Shiga prefecture, that’s easy, and the complex name was easy…. Well Peter drove on the freeway past Kyoto and north, but other than a Big Lake and mountains I was drawing a blank! Eventually with a lot of searching I found it, just copy this into Google Earth 滋賀県守山市服部町2439番地.  That’s the address in Japanese, and that should show you as to be near the small town of Sazukawacho

What was unusual was the shrine in one corner, but other than that a fairly standard complex, no cover but a main astro pitch with a terrace strangely called Pitch B, another astro pitch with a tiny viewing area, Pitch A, and a grass pitch that was regrowing. What was noticable was the clouds drifting on and off the mountains.

I started at pitch A and watched a Shiga Prefectoral game, which was easily the worst of the holiday. While its bad enough that FC Koga turned up with just the 9 players, but FC Ze Ze (named after a railway station in Otsu, the capital of Shiga) were far more to blame for simply thinking the goals would be scored by default. By the time they worked that one out the spectacle had been ruined. In the game’s favour was the high level of adminstration, as an obviously experienced referee took time to coach his trainee assistants.

Far more watchable was the second game on the main pitch and the bonus of a A4 sheet programme. Tojitsu have ambitions of the J-League, but the ground isn’t up to JFL standards, as there’s only one viewable side, but more pressing is the team. They’re honest, and hard working, but Banditonce had far too much and should have won by more. The ageing but still potent midfielder scored a fine goal before departing on the hour, and that was all that was needed.

So I departed my last ground tired sunburned, but utterly elated. 11 good ticks, and 12 games, and plenty of stories to bore you all with! A massive thanks once again to Peter, a life altering experience and one I’ll never be able to repay.

One final point, Peter found something on the FC Koga website, Its the last picture…