Happy new year! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year's Eve. May I also wish you all the best for the upcoming 12 months.
I was away this last week in San Francisco enjoying the wedding of two great friends (not to mention whale watching, redwood trees, clam chowder, cable cars, some of the many local beers - the list goes on), so we have some catching up to do!
The biggest news is the capture of prolific goal scorer Bare. He scored over 100 goals over six seasons in Japan from 2003-08, which is an impressive average of 17 a season. Could he be what we've been missing?
Another incoming is Kenta Uchida. A midfielder signed from Ehime FC. The 23 year old has been an important part of the Ehime set up these last two years, so I'm looking forward to seeing how he makes the step up.
Players who were out of contract but have signed extensions include, most notably, Kawai, Jong-a-Pin, Lee, Ishige, Muramatsu and Hiraoka.
There's been some out goings too. Firstly Tsujio, who was on loan at Hiroshima, has been released at the end of his contract and has joined newly promoted Oita Trinita. Secondly, keepers Yamamoto and Usui have joined J2 teams Kobe and JEF Chiba respectively.
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