JEF United Chiba

Full name JEF United Ichihara Chiba
Nickname(s) JEF, Inu (The Dogs)
Founded 1946 (1946) (Furukawa Electric SC)
Ground Fukuda Denshi Arena
Chiba, Chiba
Ground Capacity 19,781
Owner East Japan Railway Company(50%)
Furukawa Electric(50%)
Chairman Hideyuki Maeda
Manager Juan Esnáider
League J2 League
2016 11th
Website Club home page
old crest

JEF United Ichihara Chiba, also known by JEF United Chiba (ジェフユナイテッド千葉 Jefu Yunaiteddo Chiba), and also as JEF Chiba (ジェフ千葉 Jefu Chiba), is a Japanese professional football club that plays in J. League Division 2. On February 1, 2005, the club changed its name from JEF United Ichihara to the current name after Chiba city had joined Ichihara, Chiba as its hometown in 2003. The club name, JEF -taken from JR East and Furukawa Electric- and United, represents the unity of the team and its home town.


The team began as the company team, Furukawa Electric Soccer Club (古河電気工業サッカー部) in 1946. As the company team, it won the Japan Soccer League twice, the Emperor's Cup four times and the JSL League Cup three times. Furukawa also won the 1986–87 Asian Club Championship, the top club honor in Asia; they were the first Japanese club to do so.

Since the league's inception in 1965, the team had always played in the top flight in Japan and was the only Japanese team to never be relegated from the JSL1, a record they kept into the J1 years. They did finish the 1978 season in a relegation position (last of 10) but stayed up after beating Honda F.C. 1–0 on aggregate in a two-legged playoff. The last place was not automatically relegated until the 1980 season.

In 1991, it merged with the JR East's company team to become East Japan JR Furukawa Football Club (東日本ジェイアール古河サッカークラブ) and rebranded itself as JEF United Ichihara upon the J. League's founding in 1993. The team initially built itself around the former Germany national football team player Pierre Littbarski.

From 1998 to 2000, the team struggled to stay in the J. League and it began a series of efforts to be a competitive team. Since the hiring of Ivica Osim in 2003, JEF United has contended for the league title each year despite limited resources and struggling attendance.

On July 16, 2006, Osim left the team to take over the coach of the Japan national team and was succeeded by Amar Osim, his son and assistant coach.. On December 5, 2007, it was announced that Amar Osim had been sacked after the club's lowly 13th-place finish in the 2007 season.

After 13 games in the 2008 season Josip Kuže was sacked as team manager. On 8 May 2008 it was announced that the new manager was Alex Miller. Miller was First Team Coach at Liverpool F.C. alongside Rafael Benítez prior to joining JEF United.

The Furukawa Electric is no longer the main sponsor of the club, a job these days taken over by Fuji Electric.

On November 8, 2009, JEF United Chiba was relegated to J2 after 44 seasons in the Japanese top division; since 2010, JEF United Chiba is playing in J. League Division 2.

JEF United Chiba was close to being promoted to J. League Division 1 during the 2012 season. The club was considered one of the favorites to be directly promoted to J1. However, after defeats to teams considered lesser than them such as F.C. Gifu and F.C. Machida Zelvia, JEF played the playoffs, making their road to the final. They defeated Yokohama F.C. by 4–0, but lost the final match to Oita Trinita by 1–0, at Tokyo National Stadium.

In the 2013 season they played in the promotion to J1 playoffs. They lost the semi final match to Tokushima Vortis by 1–1(Chiba was 6th place and Tokushima was 3rd place in the league, regulation decides up high club can go final even draw.)

In the 2014 season they played in the promotion playoffs to J1 again. The club did not have to play in the semi-final(Chiba was 4th place but the 3rd place club named Giravanz Kitakyushu had a Jleague original stadium problem so Kitakyushu could not go to the promotion play off). In the final against Montedio Yamagata, they lost by 0–1, at Ajinomoto Stadium.



It had played its home matches at Ichihara Seaside Stadium, but has since moved to the larger, football-specific and more conveniently located Fukuda Denshi Arena, which opened in Chiba during the 2005 season. The club had initially practiced at Urayasu, Chiba planning to base itself in Narashino, Chiba before opposition by those living around Akitsu Stadium forced it to be based in Ichihara. Since 2000, training has been held at Footpark Anesaki in Ichihara in normally. Since 1 October 2009, they made new practice place UNITED PARK near the Fukuda Denshi Arena.


JEF United Ichihara's mascot characters are Akita Inu brothers named Jeffy and Unity. The squad number of Jeffy is 2 and that of Unity is 9.

Affiliated clubs

Furukawa Electric Chiba

This was JEF's reserve team during the JSL years. They were formed in 1967 and were first promoted to the JSL Second Division in 1975. They still exist, although they are no longer affiliated on paper, and play in the Kanto Regional League. In 2008 they renamed themselves S.A.I. Ichihara

JEF Reserves

JEF's reserve team played until 2011 in the Japan Football League, the third tier of Japanese football. But in 2011, the club announced the end of the B team because of financial problems.


Season Div. Tms. Pos. Attendance/G J. League Cup Emperor's Cup
1992Group StageQuarter-final
1993J110820,273Group StageQuarter-final
1994J112922,2622nd Round2nd Round
1995J114515,4181st Round
1996J116912,008Group Stage3rd Round
1997J117135,693Quarter-final4th Round
1998J118165,365Final3rd Round
1999J116135,7742nd Round3rd Round
2000J116146,3382nd RoundQuarter-final
2003J11639,709Group StageQuarter-final
2004J116410,012Group Stage4th Round
2005J11849,535Winner5th Round
2006J1181113,393Winner4th Round
2007J1181314,149Group Stage4th Round
2008J1181514,084Quarter-final4th Round
2009J1181814,730Group Stage4th Round
2010J219411,6894th Round
2013J222510,0043rd Round
2015J222910,7253rd Round
2016J2221110,2923rd Round


Furukawa Electric

JEF United Ichihara Chiba


Current Squad

As of 24 Jun 2016.[1]

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 Masahiro Okamoto
3 Japan DF Naoya Kondo
4 Japan DF Kengo Kitazume
5 Japan DF Atsuto Tatara
6 Japan MF Masaki Yamamoto
7 Japan MF Yuto Sato (vice-captain)
8 Japan MF Haruya Ide
9 Brazil FW Elton (on loan from Vitória)
10 Japan MF Kazuki Nagasawa (on loan from Urawa Reds)
11 Japan FW Takayuki Funayama
13 Japan DF Yusuke Higa
14 Japan MF Yamato Machida
15 Japan MF Seitaro Tomisawa (vice-captain)
16 Japan MF Junki Koike
No. Position Player
17 Japan DF Yuki Okubo
18 Japan FW Makito Yoshida
19 Japan FW Ado Onaiwu
20 Japan DF Masashi Wakasa
21 Japan GK Eisuke Fujishima (on loan from Sagan Tosu)
22 Paraguay MF Eduardo Aranda
23 Japan GK Yuya Sato (captain)
24 South Korea DF Lee Joo-young
26 Japan DF Jun Okano
27 Japan DF Shohei Abe
28 Japan DF Takaya Inui
31 Japan GK Cholhwan Ono
32 Japan FW Hiroki Sugajima (on loan from Tokyo Verdy)
33 Japan DF Ryuhei Niwa (on loan from Sagan Tosu)

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 MF Tatsuya Yazawa (at FC Machida Zelvia until 31 January 2017)
Brazil MF Paulinho (at Matsumoto Yamaga FC until 1 January 2017)
- Japan DF Itsuki Urata (at FC Ryukyu until 31 January 2017)
- Japan MF Kyoga Nakamura (at FC Ryukyu until 31 January 2017)

International capped players.



Coach Nation Tenure
Yoshikazu Nagai JapanJapan 1992-1993
Eijun Kiyokumo JapanJapan 1994-1995
Yasuhiko Okudera JapanJapan 1996
Jan Versleijen NetherlandsNetherlands 1997-1998
Gert Engels GermanyGermany 1999
Nicolae Zamfir RomaniaRomania 1999-2000
Sugao Kambe (interim) JapanJapan 2000
Zdenko Verdenik SloveniaSlovenia 2000-2001
Sugao Kambe (interim) JapanJapan 2001
Jozef Vengloš SlovakiaSlovakia 2002
Ivica Osim Bosnia and HerzegovinaBosnia and Herzegovina 2003-2006
Amar Osim Bosnia and HerzegovinaBosnia and Herzegovina 2006-2007
Josip Kuže CroatiaCroatia 2008
Shigeo Sawairi (interim) JapanJapan 2008
Alex Miller ScotlandScotland 2008-2009
Atsuhiko Ejiri JapanJapan 2009-2010
Dwight Lodeweges NetherlandsNetherlands 2011
Sugao Kambe JapanJapan 2011
Takashi Kiyama JapanJapan 2012
Jun Suzuki JapanJapan 2013-2014
Kazuo Saito (interim) JapanJapan 2014
Takashi Sekizuka JapanJapan 2014-2016
Shigetoshi Hasebe (interim) JapanJapan 2016
Juan Esnáider ArgentinaArgentina 2017-


  1. "CLUBS & PLAYERS:JEF UNITED CHIBA". J. League. Retrieved February 4, 2015.

External Links.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to JEF United Ichihara Chiba.
Preceded by
Daewoo Royals
South Korea
Champions of Asia
Succeeded by
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/28/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.