Sunday, October 31, 2021

Kyoto Sanga v Renofa Yamaguchi

Kyoto Sanga v Renofa Yamaguchi, J2

On a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Kyoto on 24th October, promotion hopefuls Sanga played out a 1-1 draw with struggling Renofa at Sanga Stadium by Kyocera in Kameoka.

Kyoto Sanga v Renofa Yamaguchi.
Kyoto Sanga v Renofa Yamaguchi

In front of a crowd of a little over 6,000 spectators, the first half was uneventful and goalless.

Just after the break, Miyayoshi Takumi put the home side ahead and it looked odds-on that Sanga would prevail especially after Renofa's Kikuchi Kosuke was sent off for a brainless second yellow card on the hour mark. That they didn't was due to a dogged rearguard performance by the visitors and an amazing goal-line clearance by the Brazilian Henik Luiz de Andrade.

The Purple Wall
The Purple Wall

Kusana Yuki grabbed a breakaway equalizer for the visitors after 79 minutes and 10-man Renofa could have even taken all three points at the end.

The handful of orange-clad Renofa supporters would have made the long journey home to Yamaguchi in high spirits.

Sanga relies too heavily on the veteran 37-year-old Nigerian/Belgian striker Peter Utaka, who has represented a number of clubs in China and Japan. A lot of Sanga's play goes through the journeyman forward not always to the betterment of the team.

Still, Utaka was on target again the following week at Ehima and barring an almighty collapse, Kyoto should take their place in J1 next season along with Jubilo. How long they will stay there is another matter.

The glory days under coach Gert Engels with a young Park Ji Sung (later of PSV and Manchester United fame) plus Daisuke Matsui and Teruaki Kurobe in the team are long gone.

Sanga v Renofa, J2.
Sanga v Renofa, J2

Access - Getting There

Kameoka is 20 km west of Kyoto city and easily reached by JR train from either Kyoto Station or Nijo Station in 18-30 minutes depending on the type of train you take. Both stations are on the city's subway network. Kameoka Station is adjacent to the new stadium and just five minutes on foot.

The Sun Royal Hotel Kameoka Ekimae is adjacent to both Kameoka Station and the ground.


Sunday, October 24, 2021

Reds unveil 21/22 third kit taking inspiration from club’s rich heritage and famous KOP

Liverpool Third Kit

Liverpool Third Kit

Liverpool FC has revealed its third and final kit for the 2021/22 season, drawing inspiration from one of the most iconic stands in football, an iconic night in Europe and a rich history of yellow change kits.

Available to pre-order from today, the bold yellow jersey continues the club's historic relationship with the colour that was used on a handful of occasions from the mid-50s, and proved so popular that by the end of the 1970s, it quickly became part of the club's regular alternate colour palette.

The red-and-yellow chequered trim on the collar is inspired by the passion and energy of the KOP and the chequered flags that first illuminated the Liverpool FC end of the stadium in the 1977 European Cup Final, that then set a precedent for all future big European nights.

The subtle pinstripes highlight the tight bond between the club and its community.

On the nape of the neck, the 96-emblem encased by the eternal flames sits proudly in memory of the 96 children, women and men who lost their lives at Hillsborough. From the 2022-23 season onwards, the 96 emblem will change to 97 in recognition of Andrew Devine, the 97th person unlawfully killed as a result of the Hillsborough disaster.

Unfortunately, it was not possible to change the emblems for the 2021-22 campaign.

As with previous seasons, the club is offering a 10% discount off the price of the third kit to all LFC official members. New for this season, the Reds are extending this offer out to UK key workers via Blue Light and Network, and also to students in the UK via Student Beans. More information on eligibility and how to redeem the discount can be found here.

Fans who purchase any third kit before 26 September will also receive a £10 Liverpool FC Retail voucher to spend in store or online between 1 November 2021 and 31 December 2021.

Just like this season's home and away kits, the Red's third shirts that players will wear on the pitch as well as the replica jerseys for the fans have been constructed with 100% recycled polyester fabric, which is made from recycled plastic bottles.

The new third kit will be available for pre-order online from the official Liverpool FC online store and will go on general sale for purchase in-store and online from 21 September.

For more information please visit:

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Liverpool FC launches new partnership with ThinkMarkets

Liverpool FC launches new partnership with ThinkMarkets

Liverpool FC has welcomed global online trading broker, ThinkMarkets, as its new Official Global Trading Partner.

With offices in London, Melbourne, Dubai, and Tokyo, along with hubs in the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and South Africa, ThinkMarkets will work with the club to bring quick and easy access to a wide range of financial trading markets to Liverpool FC supporters across the world.

The global partnership will focus on bringing forward market access and game-changing technology, providing ThinkMarkets with a high-profile opportunity to promote its brand as well as its multi-asset trading products and innovative platforms.

The partnership will also provide ThinkMarkets with digital assets, club hospitality, and matchday sponsorship to drive acquisition and leverage engagement opportunities for its clients while reaching fans through exclusive experiences.

Liverpool FC launches new partnership with ThinkMarkets

Matt Scammell, commercial director, Liverpool FC, said: "A leader in its field that fosters innovation and delivers on quality experiences, values that resonate deeply through the club, we are very happy to add ThinkMarkets as our newest partner.

"Our worldwide following will generate global exposure for ThinkMarkets, whilst their core markets benefit from tremendous numbers of Liverpool FC supporters. Through this new partnership, we look forward to working closely together in offering our fans activities and experiences to bring them even closer to the club."

Nauman Anees, CEO and Co-Founder at ThinkMarkets, said: "ThinkMarkets is proud to be the Official Global Trading Partner of Liverpool FC and excited to bring global market access to Liverpool FC fans around the world. We look forward to exploring the synergies between trading and football strategy throughout our partnership."

Established in 2010, ThinkMarkets delivers some of the industry's most recognised trading solutions, including its best-in-class platform ThinkTrader.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Football legends returning to their former clubs over 10 years later

Football legends returning to their former clubs

Football legends return
Football Legends

Gianluigi Buffon - 20 years later to Parma (2001-2021)

Arjen Robben - 18 years later to Groningen (2002-2020)

Sir Stanley Matthews - 14 years later to Stoke City (1947-1961)

Diego Maradona - 13 years later to Boca Juniors (1982-1995)

Cristiano Ronaldo - to Manchester United after 12 years (2009-2021)

Romário - 12 years later to Vasco da Gama (1988-2000)

Denis Law - 12 years later to Manchester City (1961-1973)

Kaká - 11 years later to São Paulo (2003-2014)

Sócrates - 11 years later to Botafogo-SP (1978-1989)

Allan Simonsen - 11 years later to Vejle BK (1972-1983)

by Rasim Movsumzadeh

Sunday, October 10, 2021

LFC holds ground-breaking ceremony for Anfield Road Stand expansion

LFC holds ground-breaking ceremony

LFC holds ground-breaking ceremony for Anfield Road Stand expansion
LFC holds ground-breaking ceremony for Anfield Road Stand expansion

Work officially began on Liverpool FC's Anfield Road Stand redevelopment project last Thursday at a commencement ceremony that saw Jürgen Klopp put the first spade in the ground.

The ground-breaking ceremony, which was also attended by Sir Kenny Dalglish and Ian Rush, saw the coming together of all those involved in the project since it first began in 2014.

LFC managing director Andy Hughes, Kevin Underwood - honorary vice-president from contractor Buckingham Group - first-team manager Klopp and Cllr Abdul Qadir, Liverpool City Council cabinet member for neighbourhoods, posed in the driving rain with brand-new diggers as the ceremonial first spade was put into the ground.

Hughes said: "It is my great pleasure to see work officially begin on the Anfield Road Stand redevelopment. Today marks the beginning of an important new chapter in our history, and one which will see us being able to bring more of our supporters into Anfield.

"I am delighted we can celebrate this significant milestone together with the many people who have contributed to this process and I look forward to celebrating further success with 61,000 fans when the stand is finished."

Cllr Qadir said: "This development is really welcomed and I'd like to thank everyone for their hard work in the background on this."

As he placed the first spade in the ground, Klopp said: "Everything is better with fans. I can't imagine how 61,000 supporters will feel, we love the idea. With the great history of this club, it's incredible that we are building the future too."

The expansion will see an additional 7,000 seats added to the stand, with construction taking place throughout the season while matches continue to be played.

The redeveloped Anfield Road Stand is anticipated to be ready for the 2023-24 season and will include improved concourses and sports bar lounge hospitality facilities, as well as the relocation of the Family Park to a covered position.

Anfield Road Stand Expansion Confirmed

Anfield Road Stand Expansion

The proposed expansion of the Anfield Road Stand will move forward, Liverpool FC has confirmed today.

The project, which has been undergoing enabling works throughout the off-season in anticipation, will begin in earnest with an official ground breaking ceremony planned for this week.

The redevelopment of the stand will see 7,000 more seats added to Anfield, taking its overall capacity to more than 61,000. The construction of the stand will work in the same way as the redeveloped Main Stand, with the build taking place throughout the season while matches continue to be played throughout.

Anfield Road Stand Expansion Confirmed

Andy Hughes, Managing Director, Liverpool FC said: "We have been clear from the beginning that in order for this expansion to go ahead we needed the co-operation of local residents and the community, to successfully navigate the complex planning landscape and to ensure the project is financially viable.

"We needed certainty for this project to progress and are now in a position to be able to move forward. We began this journey in 2014 and are grateful to everyone for the contributions they have made to bring the project to this stage."

Following two stages of public consultation and invaluable feedback on the initial plans, Anfield Road's expansion project will reroute Anfield Road itself around the footprint of the new stand.

The project was given planning permission by Liverpool City Council in June 2021 which also awarded the club permission to hold up to six concerts and major events at the stadium for a period of five seasons.

The club will work with Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd (Buckingham) as the principal contractor on the project.

Buckingham will work directly with the club's Red Neighbours initiative on a range of activities with the local community and schools in line with the club's current activities across food poverty and education and opportunities for young people, as well as taking the local community on the journey of the Stand’s redevelopment.

They will also work with local employment groups and education establishments to offer work experience, apprenticeships, graduate placements, and employment to local people. Buckingham is committed to offering around 35 work placements and over 800 apprentice and training weeks across the build.

When completed the expanded Anfield Road stand is expected to create around 400 matchday roles, in addition to the 2200 people currently employed in various operations at each home game, of which 95% are known to live in the Liverpool City Region.

The redeveloped Anfield Road Stand is anticipated to be ready for the 2023-24 season and its design will see the lower tier retained and refurbished with a new upper tier built above it. As well as an increased capacity the redeveloped stand will be similar to the Main Stand with improved concourses and sports bar lounge hospitality facilities. This stand will also see the relocation of the Family Park to a covered position.

Throughout the design process, careful consideration has once again been given to Anfield’s world class atmosphere through the development of an acoustic and lighting strategy to match that of the one developed with the Main Stand.

Part of the safe, secure and inclusive design plans will also provide additional pedestrian routes at the back of the expanded stand into Stanley Park, retain the four-stand stadium configuration and character, and include historical design references.

Monday, October 4, 2021

Munoz Wins the Sack Race

Watford's Manager is the First Firing of 2021/22

Xisco Munoz has parted ways with Watford after only seven games of the season, the first managerial casualty of the 2021/22 Premier League.

Xisco Munoz
Xisco Munoz

Sitting 14th out of 20 after two wins, a draw and four defeats, Watford is not quite mired in a relegation battle, but the Hornets have been serial sackers for a while. The Pozzo family who run the Hertfordshire club have overseen a dozen managers at Vicarage Road since 2012.

The firing comes on the back of a dismal display at Elland Road, where Leeds beat them 1-0. The board's official announcement spoke of "a negative trend at a time when team cohesion should be visibly improving."

That is more than the usual platitudes a club spouts when sacking their manager but it still seems a little harsh when there are six clubs below Watford in the table and Munoz won them automatic promotion to the Premier League after taking over mid-season in the last campaign.

"It concluded in a way I neither expected nor wished for," Munoz replied on Twitter, reminding readers his reign had only been a year, less than ten months in fact. Seven games into the season seems too soon, although had the axe been wielded at Christmas it would not have come as a big shock had Watford still been in the bottom third of the table.

Claudio Ranieri seems poised to take the reins at Vicarage Road.

Watford's managerial merry-go-round mirrors that of Nottingham Forest, who are on their 30th manager in 20 years. The twice European Cup winners fired Chris Hughton a couple of weeks ago after six defeats in seven games.

But whereas Forest have been unable to mount a serious promotion challenge and seem marooned in the bottom half of the Championship, Watford have at least yo-yoed between the top two flights and reached the F.A. Cup final.

The Pozzos' business model entails a consistent recruitment structure but regularly replacing the head coach, whose lifespan in the job they estimate at no more than a couple of seasons, according to Watford chief executive Scott Duxbury.

Forest have had a similarly dizzying turnover of players and managers but persist, expecting a different outcome, the classic definition of madness.

A comparison of the two clubs seems to confirm that when it comes to running football clubs, one size does not fit all.

(c) Sean O'Conor & Soccerphile

Sunday, October 3, 2021

鄭展龍外借冠忠南區 藉更多上陣機會加快成長

鄭展龍外借冠忠南區 藉更多上陣機會加快成長


鄭展龍外借冠忠南區 藉更多上陣機會加快成長

 為達至目標,鄭展龍借用費將與他在冠忠南區的上陣時間掛勾,上陣時間愈多,借用費愈低,傑志希望藉此增加鄭展龍比賽時間,透過實戰加快成長。 鄭展龍是傑志青訓的成功例子之一。
鄭展龍外借冠忠南區 藉更多上陣機會加快成長

2008年當時年僅9歲的鄭展龍加入香港巴塞足球學校(傑志足球學院前身),之後跟隨傑志青年軍征戰,15歲時提升至預備組,2015-16球季17歲時獲首份職業球員合約,2017年首次入選香港隊,直至2018年鄭展龍在主場出戰對日職球會柏雷素爾的亞冠盃比賽,射入致勝入球,助傑志獲得亞冠盃首勝,該絕殺球更被選為當屆亞冠盃最佳入球。 傑志體育會會長伍健先生期望,鄭展龍在外借期間能證明自己:「鄭展龍加入傑志大家庭已13年,他的成長故事,承載著傑志青訓的成功歷程。我們深信鄭展龍潛質優厚,有能力再突破自己,期望他在一至兩個轉會窗後回歸傑志時,會是更全面,更成熟的鄭展龍。」 

 暫代主教練金東進相信外借安排有助鄭展龍的發展:「年輕球員需要比賽來提升技術及心理質素,外借對處於成長階段的鄭展龍來說,是值得把握的機會。」 鄭展龍今天(8月16日)已向冠忠南區報到並投入操練,傑志祝願他有出色表現,為冠忠南區爭取佳績。