Yokohama FC

Yokohama F.C.
Full name Yokohama F.C.
Nickname(s) Fulie
Founded 1999 (1999)
Ground Mitsuzawa Stadium
Kanagawa-ku, Yokohama
Ground Capacity 15,046
Chairman Yuji Onodera
Manager Hitoshi Nakata
League J2 League
2016 8th
Website Club home page

Yokohama F.C. (横浜FC Yokohama Efushī) are a Japanese football club based in the city of Yokohama. The club was formed by fans of Yokohama Flügels after that team folded in the 1998 season.


The club was formed in 1999, following the merger of the city's two J. League clubs, Yokohama Flügels and Yokohama Marinos the previous year. Flügels supporters, whose club was essentially dissolved, rejected the suggestion that they should start supporting Marinos, their crosstown rivals. Instead, with money raised through donations from the general public and an affiliation with IMG, the talent management company, the former Flügels supporters founded the Yokohama Fulie Sports Club.[1] Following the socio model used by FC Barcelona, the Fulie Sports Club created Yokohama F.C., the first professional sports team in Japan owned and operated by its supporters.[2]

For its first season in 1999, Yokohama F.C. hired former German World Cup star Pierre Littbarski to be the manager and Yasuhiko Okudera, the first Japanese footballer to play professionally in Europe, to be the chairman.[3] Despite attempts to win straight entry into the J. League, the Japan Football Association only permitted the team to enter the Japan Football League and ruled that the club would not be eligible for promotion to J2 at the end of its first season. After two seasons as JFL champions, the team was promoted to the J2 Division of the J. League.[4]

The club spent the next 6 seasons in J2, finishing mid-table between 2001 and 2005. However, Yokohama F.C. won the J2 championship in 2006 and gained promotion to J. League Division 1 in the process. In 2007, Yokohama F.C. played its first season in the top flight of Japanese football in only its ninth year of existence. After a poor season the team were relegated with five games of the season still remaining. Despite their early demotion, Yokohama F.C. still lived to help decide the final outcome at the opposite end of the table. By beating title contenders Urawa Red Diamonds on the last day of the season, they helped Kashima Antlers claim their fifth J. League crown.[5]

Thus far, Yokohama F.C. is the only former member of the current JFL to compete in the top division.

Fight for promotion

Although they had a dire season in 2005, they ended 11th out of 12, they were in the top half of table throughout the 2006 season. On 26 November they finished on the top spot of the J2 league, and hence were finally promoted to division 1.

This success story was so dramatic as to make people somewhat excited in Japan. Yokohama FC's financial situation is so poor that they don't even possess their own football ground or a club house. Players did everything themselves including the carrying the goal posts and washing jerseys.

Some of the main players are veteran stars, such as Kazuyoshi Miura (42), Atsuhiro Miura (35). These players once played for the National Team.

They lost all pre-season matches, even against college students, then also the first official match of the year. After this, they suddenly changed the player-manager to a freshman with little experience named Takuya Takagi 38. At the beginning of the season few expected them to become champions.

Football tactics

First, Takagi concentrated on getting the basics right and focused on defense. The team then kept clean sheets in 15 consecutive games. This success gave the young players confidence to be more aggressive on the field. As a result, they didn't lose more than one game in succession and won the title.


As they could not adopt directly Flugels' white and blue strip given its similarity to that of Marinos, Yokohama F.C. decided to adopt an all-cyan kit, after NKK F.C., a former company club which had closed in 1994. NKK F.C. was based in Kawasaki and played most matches at Todoroki Athletics Stadium, but used Mitsuzawa Stadium on days when the other Kawasaki clubs at the time (Verdy Kawasaki, Toshiba and Fujitsu) used it.

Current players

As of 19 February 2016.[6]

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 Tsubasa Shibuya
2 Japan DF Yuki Nogami
3 Japan DF Ryo Tadokoro
5 Japan DF Shogo Nishikawa
6 Japan MF Takahiro Nakazato
7 Japan MF Tomoya Uchida
8 Japan MF Kensuke Sato
9 Japan FW Tomohiro Tsuda
10 Japan MF Shinichi Terada
11 Japan FW Kazuyoshi Miura
13 Japan MF Yosuke Nozaki
14 Norway FW Ibba Laajab
15 Japan DF Atsushi Ichimura
16 Japan MF Naoki Nomura
17 North Korea MF An Yong-hak
18 Japan GK Yuta Minami
No. Position Player
19 Japan MF Kosuke Onose
20 Slovenia MF Rok Štraus
21 Japan MF Leo Osaki
22 Japan DF Takuya Nagata
23 South Korea DF Na Sung-soo
24 Japan MF Toshihiro Matsushita
25 Japan MF Keita Ishii
26 Japan GK Yohei Takaoka
27 Japan DF Shuma Kusumoto
28 Japan MF Yuta Fujii
29 Japan MF Yuki Ueda
30 Japan FW Kousuke Saito
31 Japan MF Youta Maejima
32 Vietnam MF Nguyễn Tuấn Anh (on loan from Hoàng Anh Gia Lai)
39 Japan FW Tetsuya Okubo

Record as J. League member

Season Div. Tms. Pos. Attendance/G J. League Cup Emperor's Cup
2001 J2 12 9 3,007 2nd Round 4th Round
2002 J2 12 12 3,477 3rd Round
2003 J2 12 11 3,743 3rd Round
2004 J2 12 8 4,219 5th Round
2005 J2 18 11 5,938 4th Round
2006 J2 13 1 5,119 3rd Round
2007 J1 18 18 14,039 Group Stage 5th Round
2008 J2 15 10 6,793 4th Round
2009 J2 18 16 3,535 3rd Round
2010 J2 19 6 5,791 3rd Round
2011 J2 20 18 5,770 2nd Round
2012 J2 22 4 6,039 3rd Round
2013 J2 22 11 6,064 2nd Round
2014 J2 22 11 5,146 2nd Round
2015 J2 22 15 5,113 2nd Round
2016 J2 22 8 4,892 Round of 16


As of 26 February 2016.


Affiliated Clubs


  1. John Horne, Wolfram Manzenreiter (2013). Japan, Korea and the 2002 World Cup. Routledge. p. 101. ISBN 0415275636.
  2. Ichiro Hirose (2014). スポーツ・マネジメント入門 [Introduction to Sport Management] (in Japanese). Toyo Keizai. p. 123. ISBN 4492502602.
  3. Kumi Kinohara (27 July 2000). "Yokohama FC struggling to survive despite JFL success". Japan Times. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
  4. "Interview with Tomio Tsujino" (PDF) (in Japanese). Yokohama City. 2012. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
  5. Andrew Mckirdy (2 December 2007). "Inspired Antlers squad captures J. League title". Japan Times. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
  6. "CLUBS & PLAYERS". J. League. 19 February 2016. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
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