Shonan Bellmare

Full name Shonan Bellmare
Founded 1968 (1968)
Ground Shonan BMW Stadium Hiratsuka
Hiratsuka, Kanagawa
Ground Capacity 18,500
Chairman Kiyoshi Makabe
Manager Cho Kwi-jea
League J1 League
2016 J1 League, 17th
Website Club home page

Shonan Bellmare (湘南ベルマーレ Shōnan Berumāre) are a Japanese professional football (soccer) club, currently playing in the J. League Division 1. The team is located in Hiratsuka, in the west of Kanagawa Prefecture; their home stadium is Hiratsuka Athletics Stadium in Hiratsuka. The name Bellmare is derived from the Italian "bello" for "beauty" and "mare" for "sea", it's a contract form – ex. Castellamare di Stabia (Castello-castle, al-on, mare- sea),. Shonan refers to a coastal area that includes Hiratsuka.


Early years as corporate team

The club was founded in 1968 as Towa Real Estate SC in Nasu, Tochigi.[1] They were promoted to the Japan Soccer League (JSL) Division 1 in 1972. They changed their name to Fujita Kogyo S.C. when Towa Estate Development gave up the ownership to their parent company Fujita Kogyo, which moved the club to Hiratsuka.

They won the JSL three times (including two doubles with the Emperor's Cup) between 1977 and 1981. They were nevertheless relegated to the JSL's Division 2 in 1990. Although they won the last JSL Division 2 season in 1991–92, the professionalization and formation of the J. League meant they did not meet the new top flight league's criteria and the runners-up, Kashima Antlers (formerly Sumitomo), were promoted instead.

1993 (JFL)

In 1993, they adopted new name Shonan Bellmare. Their application to the J. League Associate membership was accepted. They played in the former Japan Football League Division 1 and won the league championship. After Hiratsuka City Council committed to finance the refurbishment of the Hiratsuka Stadium to meet the J. League requirements, J. League accepted the club.

1994–1997 (Golden era)

Bellmare Hiratsuka 1994–1999 crest

The club was forced to change their name to Bellmare Hiratsuka because J. League required the participants to designate only one city or town as their hometown and include its name in the club names at that time. The club initially struggled to cope with the J. League opponents and finished 11th out of 12 in the first stage of the 1994 season. However, they came back in the second stage and finished 2nd. With this momentum, the club won the 1994–1995 Emperor's Cup. This title qualified Bellmare for the 1996 Asian Cup Winners Cup, which they won by beating Iraq's Al Talaba in the final. Hidetoshi Nakata joined the team in 1995 and they also successfully recruited Brazilian-born Wagner Lopes and influential Korean international Hong Myung-Bo. This is arguably the most successful period of the club.[2]

1998–1999 (Difficult period)

Four Bellmare players were selected for the 1998 FIFA World Cup. They were Nakata, Lopes, Hong and a goalkeeper Nobuyuki Kojima. However, as Nakata left for Italian club Perugia just after the World Cup, the club's fortune started to decline. The main sponsor Fujita decided to discontinue the financial support in 1999 due to their own financial difficulties.[3] It forced the club to release some highly paid players including Lopes, Hong and Kojima. They finished bottom of J1 in 1999 and were relegated to J2.

2000–2009 (J2)

The club made a new start. The ownership was transferred to a community-owned organisation. They also changed their name to Shonan Bellmare as J. League allowed them to enlarge their designated hometowns to include several cities and towns surrounding Hiratsuka.[3] The club's performance on the pitch has not been strong and they have not been serious contenders for the promotion to J1 so far.

A J1 comeback in 2010, if they are able to achieve promotion, will be the first without Fujita as their sponsor. Although for a time they refused to consider their history as the championship-winning Fujita corporate team in their current history, this year they celebrated the club's 40-year anniversary in 2009 as deduced from the badge in their Web site.

On December 5, 2009, Shonan returned to J1 as third-place finishers in 2009 seasons.

2010–Current (Return to J1)

Shonan's return to J1 was a brief one as they struggled at the bottom of the table all season long. Their relegation back to J2 was confirmed with four games to go.

In 2014, after a few years in and out of the top division, Shonan Bellmare dominated J2 during the 2014 campaign. Winning the second division with 101 points, 38 wins, 8 draws, and only 3 losses, they earned promotion back to J League's first division, J1, for the 2015 season.[4]

For the 2015 J1 season Shonan Bellmare partnered with Japanese energy management company, Eneres, to be the team's new main kit sponsor. During the 2015 season, Shonan Bellmare fared the best out of the three promoted sides from J2. Montedio Yamagata and Matsumoto Yamaga FC (along with J1 regulars Shimizu S-Pulse) were relegated while Shonan stayed up, hanging around the middle of the table for most of the season. They finished the first stage in 10th place, and 9th in the second stage, for an overall finish of 8th in the table. The 2015 season could be considered a success for Bellmare. With 13 wins, 9 draws, and 12 losses on the season, Shonan secured a winning record in the top division from a promoted side.[5]


Historically the Shonan area was part of a pre-modern province, Sagami Province, whereas Yokohama and Kawasaki were part of Musashi Province, hence Bellmare's intraprefectural rivalries with Yokohama F. Marinos, Yokohama FC and Kawasaki Frontale are based on the hard-working port cities of South Musashi as opposed to the more laid-back attitude of Sagami.

Other historical rivals have been Cerezo Osaka, Urawa Red Diamonds and Júbilo Iwata.

Record as J. League member

SeasonDiv.Tms.Pos.Attendance/GJ. League CupEmperor's CupAsia
1994J112517,8361st RoundWinner
1995J1141116,1112nd Round
1997J11787,841Group StageQuarter-final
1998J1181110,158Group Stage4th Round
1999J116167,3881st Round3rd Round
2000J21184,9681st Round3rd Round
2001J21284,1121st Round2nd Round
2002J21254,5514th Round
2003J212104,7314th Round
2004J212104,6915th Round
2005J21275,7463rd Round
2006J213115,3654th Round
2007J21364,6774th Round
2008J21555,9943rd Round
2009J21837,2732nd Round
2010J1181811,095Group Stage3rd Round
2012J22226,8523rd Round
2013J118169,911Group Stage3rd Round
2014J22218,4783rd Round
2015J118812,208Group Stage3rd Round
2016J1181711,530Group Stage


Towa / Fujita

Bellmare Hiratsuka / Shonan Bellmare

League history

Total (as of 2015): 27 seasons in the top tier, 17 seasons in the second tier and 2 seasons in the Regional Leagues.


Current squad

As of May 18, 2016

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Japan GK Tomohiko Murayama
2 Japan DF Shunsuke Kikuchi
3 Japan DF Ryohei Okazaki
4 Brazil DF André Bahia
6 Japan MF Yuto Misao
7 Japan MF Yohei Otake
8 Japan MF Naoki Yamada (on loan from Urawa Reds)
9 Brazil FW Dinei
10 Japan MF Daisuke Kikuchi
11 Japan FW Yoshihito Fujita
13 Japan MF Miki Yamane
14 Japan MF Seiya Fujita
15 Japan MF Aria Jasuru Hasegawa
16 Japan MF Toshiki Ishikawa
17 Japan FW Jin Hanato
No. Position Player
18 Japan MF Eijiro Takeda
19 Japan FW Shuhei Otsuki
20 Japan DF Keisuke Tsuboi
21 Japan GK Yuji Kajikawa
22 Japan MF Hokuto Shimoda
23 Japan MF Kaoru Takayama
24 Japan DF Yuta Narawa
25 Australia GK Tando Velaphi
27 Japan MF Kosuke Shirai
28 Japan MF Yuta Kamiya
29 Brazil FW Weslley (on loan from Buriram United)
30 Japan DF Tsuyoshi Shimamura
31 Japan GK Go Ito
33 Japan MF Shota Tamura
36 Japan DF Takuya Okamoto (on loan from Urawa Reds)
South Korea DF Kim Jong-pil

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Japan DF Shota Fukuoka (to Fukushima United)
Japan DF Kenta Hirose (to Tochigi SC)
Japan MF Akira Ando (to Zweigen Kanazawa)
Japan MF Naoki Maeda (to Fukushima United)
No. Position Player
Japan FW Tsuyoshi Miyaichi (to Gainare Tottori)
Brazil FW Thiago Quirino (to Oita Trinita)



  1. Osumi, Yoshiyuki (1995). Yume no ishizue. Astro publishing. ISBN 4755508576.
  2. "11年ぶりのJ1昇格を果たした湘南ベルマーレ 前例のない道を切り開く地域密着の挑戦に迫る" (in Japanese). Shonan Keizai Shimbun. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  3. 1 2 "Bellmare boss' passion giving back to community". Asahi Shimbun. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  4. "Shonan Bellmare has shot J1 next season". ONE World Sports. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  5. "2015MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE". J. League. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/13/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.