2018/2/21 Pre-Season Round-Up
Vissel Kobe head for the 2018 season with some interesting new signings so let's round them all up for you as the Friday night campaign-opener approaches at Sagan Tosu, on February 23rd.
In goal we see the return of prodigal son Kota Ogi after ten seasons away, including almost 200 appearances for Ventforet Kofu. In the defensive area we welcome Daisuke Nasu from Urawa Reds, young Daiki Miya (Biwako Seikei Sport College) and Theerathon Bunmathan comes in from Muangthong United of Thailand, on loan.
The midfield is strengthened by the very welcome return of Jung Woo-young from hi sojourn at China's Chongqing Lifan, as well as Hirotaka Mita from Vegalta Sendai and the very promising youngster Yuta Goke fromAomori Yamada High School.
Up front the team has added Wellington - Avispa Fukuoka's top scorer in J2 last season - and Daiju Sasaki from the youth team. Also, Tatsuki Noda returns from a loan period at FC IMabari.
Lukas Podolski has been handed the club captaincy while the team have added veteran tactical master - and German-speaker - Gert Engels as Head Coach to Takayuki Yoshida's backroom members, as well as former player Toshihiko Uchiyama as Assistant Coach.
Notable outgoings include some players going on loan to "lesser" clubs where they will, hopefully, gain experience and come back better players: defender Junya Higashi (Fukushima United), defender Shinya Yamaguchi and midfielder Ryosuke Maeda (both to Oita Trinita), midfielder Seigo Kobayashi (Montedio Yamagata)and forward Akito Mukai (MIO Biwako Shiga) are all out on loan, while the club said goodbye to the likes of goalkeeper Kenta Tokushige (V-Varen Nagasaki), Takuya Iwanami (Urawa Reds), Hideto Takahashi (Sagan Tosu) and Kotaro Omori (FC Tokyo). Also outgoing were Hideo Tanaka, and Nilton, while Wescley in in Brazil on loan at Ceara.
We hope to welcome back ace striker Leandro very soon - after so long out - who will seem like a new signing, too!
With some new facilities at the club's training ground – Ibuki-no-Mori – as well as some beautiful additions to Noevir Stadium, including the amazing "Hybrid Turf" pitch, we hope you will join us and stay with us throughout the 2018 season!