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Avispa Fukuoka (アビスパ福岡, Abisupa Fukuoka) is a Japanese professional football club, currently play in the J2 League. The team is located in Hakata, Fukuoka. "Avispa" means "wasp" in Spanish. They were originally called Fujieda Blux and based in Fujieda, Shizuoka before moving to Fukuoka in 1994. After becoming the champions of 1995 Japan Football League as Fukuoka Blux, and being admitted to the J. League since 1996 season, Avispa Fukuoka has the longest history as a J. League club being uncrowned in any nationwide competitions such as J. League Division 1, Division 2, J. League Cup, or Emperor's Cup.

Avispa Fukuoka
Full nameAvispa Fukuoka
Nickname(s)Avi, Hachi (Hornet, in Japanese), Meishu
Founded1982; 37 years ago (1982) (moved to Fukuoka in 1995)
GroundLevel5 Stadium
Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
LeagueJ2 League
2018J2 League, 7th
WebsiteClub website
Current season



In FujiedaEdit

The club was founded as Chūō Bōhan SC in 1982 by the workers of security company Chuo Bohan in Fujieda, Shizuoka. They were promoted to the Japan Soccer League Division 2 in 1991. They participated in the newly founded former Japan Football League Division 2 in 1992 and were promoted to Division 1 in 1993. They changed their name to Fujieda Blux with intention to be a J. League member. However, with difficulties to have a stadium that met J. League requirements, and with local competition from Júbilo Iwata and Shimizu S-Pulse, the football fan base in Shizuoka prefecture was already considered saturated. As a result, in 1994 they decided to move to Fukuoka where the community was eager to have a J. League club. They adopted new name Fukuoka Blux and became a J. League associate member.[1]

Note: Amateur club Chūō Bōhan F.C. was active in Fujieda until 2006.

1995 (JFL)Edit

The first season in Fukuoka saw them win the JFL championship with help from Argentine Hugo Maradona and they were promoted to J. League.

1996 – 1998 (J. League)Edit

They decided to change their name to Avispa Fukuoka to avoid a potential trademark dispute with men's clothier Brooks Brothers. The club acquired experienced players such as former Japanese international Satoshi Tsunami and defender Hideaki Mori but they finished lowly 15th in the 1996 season. They finished bottom of the league two seasons in a row from 1997 to 1998. At the end of the 1998 season, Avispa were involved in the play-offs but they narrowly escaped a relegation. Around this time, forward Yoshiteru Yamashita and midfielder Chikara Fujimoto were chosen for the Japanese national team.

Note: No team was relegated from J. League until 1998. With a view to the foundation of J. League Division 2 in 1999, the relegation/promotion play-offs were held in 1998 for the first time.

1999 – 2001 (J1)Edit

In 1999, they again reinforced the squad by acquiring experienced players such as former internationals Nobuyuki Kojima and Yasutoshi Miura as well as Yugoslavian Nenad Maslovar. They won a fierce relegation battle and eventually stayed up. In 2000, Argentine David Bisconti and Romanian Pavel Badea were transferred to Fukuoka and they finished club record 6th in the second stage. In 2001, the club acquired former Korean international Noh Jung-Yoon and Yoshika Matsubara but they finished 15th and were relegated to J2.

2002 – 2005 (J2)Edit

In 2002, they kept experienced players and released younger players such as Daisuke Nakaharai and Yoshiteru Yamashita but they finished 8th out of 10. In 2002, with new manager Hiroshi Matsuda, they decided to recruit and nurture young players who graduated from local high schools instead of acquiring experienced footballers from other clubs. They initially struggled but came back well and finished 4th. In 2004, they finished 3rd and qualified for the play-offs but Kashiwa Reysol dashed their promotion hope by beating them home and away (the scoreline was both 2–0). In 2005, they finished 2nd and gained an automatic promotion to J1. Avispa players Hokuto Nakamura and Tomokazu Nagira represented Japan for the 2005 World Youth Championship in the Netherlands.

2006 (J1)Edit

They had been involved in a relegation battle from the beginning of the season. They finished 16th and were relegated to J2 after the promotion/relegation play-offs against Vissel Kobe, which they tied twice, 0–0 in Kobe, then 1–1 at their home game. Like many J2 teams this has led to financial issues. The Daily Yomiuri reported that in 2006 Avispa needed 535 million yen in loans from the local prefectural and municipal governments.

2007 – 2008 (J2)Edit

With relegation came another new manager, the former German international Pierre Littbarski. "Litti" arrived from the Australian A-League, bringing with him several experienced players such as Mark Rudan, Joel Griffiths and Ufuk Talay, but he was unable to steer Avispa to any notable success. Having finished 7th in 2007, an inability to compete near the top of the league led to Littbarski's sacking in mid-2008. He was replaced by former Avispa player Yoshiyuki Shinoda.

2009 (J2)Edit

The departure of Littbarski coincided with the departure of the club's Australian players, who were largely replaced with youngsters from a number of Kyushu-based universities. After a reasonable start, Avispa's form has tailed off sharply, with a recent five-game losing streak including 6–0 and 5–0 thrashings away at Ventforet Kofu and Mito Hollyhock respectively. The club finished in the lower half of the J2 table with promotion hopes dashed for another year.

2010 (J2)Edit

Yoshiyuki Shinoda bolstered his squad for the 2010 season by adding more players from local University teams, and picked up midfielders Kosuke Nakamachi and Genki Nagasato who had previously played together at Shonan Bellmare. The season started slowly with the team picking up only 1 point out of a possible 15 in March, but then saw a dramatic improvement in performance as they went on to win 17 of the next 25 games including a come from behind victory against promotion rivals JEF United. As JEF United went on to drop more points Avispa secured promotion back to J1 with 2 games of the season left to play.

Popular striker Tetsuya Okubo was released at the end of the season, along with 4 other players as the squad was prepared for J1.

2011 (J1)Edit

The promotion to J1 saw some significant changes to the squad as Takuya Matsuura was brought in to replace Genki Nagasato who departed to Ventforet Kofu under a cloud, Shogo Kobara, Kim Min-je and Takumi Wada coming in to bolster defence, while Sho Naruoka and Kentaro Shigematsu arrived to try and score the goals to keep the club in the division.

Tipped by all pundits on the J-League After Game Show to finish the season in 18th position, the players struggled to gel and went for the first 13 games of the season without earning a point. Despite improving slightly towards the mid-season break manager Shinoda left the club to be replaced by Head coach Tetsuya Asano.

While results continued to improve, culminating in a 6–0 away win to Montedio Yamagata, the club could not pull themselves out of the relegation zone and finished the season in 17th position to be relegated back to J2. At the end of the season the manager was changed again with Koji Maeda being brought in to replace the departing Asano.

2012 (J2)Edit

The team was looking to bounce straight back to J1 upon their return to the second tier but endured the worst season in the history of the club as they finished a lowly 18th in the table; only winning 9 games all season and conceding 68 goals (only Gainare Tottori would concede more in the season). The end of the season saw Koji Maeda part ways with the club as they looked to rebuild towards a better 2013.

2013 (J2)Edit

The club returned to hiring a non-Japanese manager for the first time since Pierre Littbarski as Slovenian Marijan Pusnik arrived. His arrival saw a greater emphasis given towards the development of young players at the club as rookies Yuta Mishima and Takeshi Kanamori were given chances in the first team.

Results on the pitch immediately improved and the club were competing around the play-off positions until a slump in form mid-season coincided with the announcement that the club needed ¥50 million to remain solvent. The club finished in 14th position, but found the money to stay afloat, with Pusnik agreeing to remain as manager for another season.

2014 (J2)Edit

Avispa finished in 16th place. Pušnik's contract was not renewed and he returned to Slovenia.

2015 (Promotion to J1)Edit

The club hired new coach Masami Ihara[1] who twice handled Kashiwa Reysol in a caretaker capacity. They finished third and were promoted back to J1 in winning the promotion playoffs.

2016 (J1)Edit

Avispa finished in 18th place.

2017 (J2)Edit

Avispa finished in 4th place. In the "J1 Promotion Play-off", Avispa won the semi-final game 1-0 against Tokyo Verdy. In the final game however, the team drew scorelessly, 0-0, with Nagoya Grampus that finished in 3rd place. Pursuant to the provision of higher-rank priority, Avispa could not be promoted to J1 in next season.

Current playersEdit

As of 23 March 2019.[2]Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1   GK Jon Ander Serantes
3   DF Hirokazu Ishihara (on loan from Shonan Bellmare)
5   DF Yuki Saneto
6   DF Won Du-jae
8   MF Jun Suzuki (captain)
9   FW Yang Dong-hyen
10   FW Hisashi Jogo
13   FW Koki Kido
14   MF Taiga Maekawa (on loan from Cerezo Osaka)
15   FW Takayuki Morimoto
16   FW Daisuke Ishizu
17   FW Riki Matsuda
18   FW Félix Micolta (on loan from Puebla)
No. Position Player
19   MF Sotan Tanabe
20   DF Kennedy Egbus Mikuni
22   DF Naoki Wako
23   GK Rikihiro Sugiyama
24   DF Kaito Kuwahara
25   MF Yuji Kitajima
26   MF Hinata Kida (on loan from Cerezo Osaka)
29   DF Kazunori Yoshimoto (on loan from FC Tokyo)
31   GK Takumi Yamanoi
36   DF Naoya Kikuchi
39   DF Kojiro Shinohara
41   DF Ginga Yoshimura (Type 2 player)
46   GK Ryota Sakuragi (Type 2 player)

Out on loanEdit

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

No. Position Player
11   DF Keisuke Iwashita (at Sagan Tosu)

Record as J. League memberEdit

Season Div. Tms. Pos. Attendance/G J. League Cup Emperor's Cup
1996 J1 16 15 9,737 Group stage 4th round
1997 J1 17 17 8,653 Group stage 4th round
1998 J1 18 18 10,035 Group stage 4th round
1999 J1 16 14 11,467 2nd round 4th round
2000 J1 16 12 13,612 2nd round 4th round
2001 J1 16 15 13,822 2nd round 3rd round
2002 J2 12 8 6,491 - 4th round
2003 J2 12 4 7,417 - 3rd round
2004 J2 12 3 8,743 - 4th round
2005 J2 12 2 10,786 - 4th round
2006 J1 18 16 13,780 Group stage 5th Round
2007 J2 13 7 9,529 - 4th round
2008 J2 15 8 10,079 - 3rd round
2009 J2 18 11 7,763 - 3rd round
2010 J2 19 3 8,821 - Qtr. Final
2011 J1 18 17 10,415 Group stage 3rd round
2012 J2 22 18 5,586 - 3rd round
2013 J2 22 14 5,727 - 2nd round
2014 J2 22 16 5,062 - 2nd round
2015 J2 22 3 8,736 - 3rd round
2016 J1 18 18 12,857 Quarter-final 2nd round
2017 J2 22 4 9,550 - 3rd round
2018 J2 22 7 8,873 - 3rd round
  • Tms. = Number of teams
  • Pos. = Position in league
  • Attendance/G = Average league attendance



  1. ^ Avispa hires head coach Masami Ihara Archived 19 December 2015 at the Wayback Machine ‹See Tfd›(in Japanese)
  2. ^ "Avispa Fukuoka 2018 Squad". Avispa Fukuoka (in Japanese). Retrieved 16 January 2018.

External linksEdit