Sanfrecce Hiroshima (Japanese: サンフレッチェ広島, romanizedSanfuretche Hiroshima) is a Japanese professional football club based in Hiroshima. The club competes in the J1 League, top flight of the Japanese football league system. Sanfrecce is one of the most successful clubs in Japan. The club is the joint fourth in most J1 League titles with three, the joint first in most top-flight titles (which includes the defunct Japan Soccer League), with eight, and the club with the most participations in Emperor's Cup finals, with 15.

Sanfrecce Hiroshima
Full nameSanfrecce Hiroshima F.C
Nickname(s)Sanfrecce, Sanfre, Viola
Founded1938; 86 years ago (1938)[1] (as Toyo Kogyo S.C.)
GroundEdion Peace Wing Hiroshima [ja]
ChairmanShingo Senda
ManagerMichael Skibbe
LeagueJ1 League
2023J1 League, 3rd of 18
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Club name edit

The club name is a portmanteau of the Japanese word for three, San and the Italian word frecce, which means 'arrows'. This is based on the story of the feudal lord Mōri Motonari who told his three sons that while a single arrow might be easily snapped, three arrows held together would not be broken and urged them to work for the good of the clan and its retainers.[3]

Former names edit

  • 1938–70: Toyo Kogyo Shukyu Club (東洋工業蹴球部)
    • 1943–46: Football was suspended during the period, due to the Pacific War.
  • 1971–80: Toyo Kogyo Soccer Club (東洋工業サッカー部)
  • 1981–83: Mazda Sports Club Toyo Kogyo Soccer Club (マツダスポーツクラブ東洋工業サッカー部)
  • 1984–85: Mazda Sports Club Soccer Club (マツダスポーツクラブサッカー部)
  • 1986–92: Mazda Soccer Club (マツダサッカークラブ)

Location edit

The club's home town is Hiroshima and the side plays at Hiroshima Big Arch and Hiroshima Prefectural Stadium. It holds training sessions at Yoshida Soccer Park in Akitakata, Hiroshima and Hiroshima 1st Ball Park until 2023.

Sanfrecce plans a move to a new stadium in 2024, which has been named Edion Peace Wing Hiroshima. It has been in construction since 2021 and is scheduled to end around the end of 2023. Sanfrecce's first match at the new stadium will be against Urawa Red Diamonds in February 2024 after the Home opener scheduled on 23 December 2023.

History edit

As Mazda team edit

1965 Inaugural League Champion. Hiroyuki Kuwahara and Yasuyuki Kuwahara are brothers.

The club was a former company team of Toyo Kogyo Soccer Club (東洋工業サッカー部) in 1938 and played in the semi-professional Japan Soccer League.

The club was an original founder ("Original Eight"[a]) of the now-disbanded Japan Soccer League (JSL) in 1965. They dominated the JSL's early years, winning the title 4 times in a row – a feat that was later equaled by Yomiuri SC/Verdy Kawasaki. The name change was made at Mazda SC (マツダSC) in 1981. When JSL disbanded and became the J.League in 1992, it dropped the company name and became "Sanfrecce Hiroshima". Alongside JEF United Ichihara Chiba and Urawa Red Diamonds they co-founded both leagues ("Original Ten"[b]).

During the 1969 season they participated in the Asian Club Cup, forerunner to today's AFC Champions League; at the time, the tournament was done in a single locale (in that year it was Bangkok, Thailand), and they ended up in third place, the first participation of a Japanese club in the continental tournament. This also cost them the league title to Mitsubishi/Urawa, and although they won another title in 1970, since then the club has been out of the running for the title, with exceptional seasons such as 1994 when they won runner-up.

1960s edit

The Toyo Industries that became the first JSL champions also completed the first double by taking the Emperor's Cup. They were also the first of three "Invincibles", undefeated champion clubs in Japan (the others were Mitsubishi in 1969 and Yamaha in 1987–88), although only Toyo completed a double.

Matsumoto, Ogi, and Yasuyuki Kuwahara went on to win the 1968 Olympic bronze medal for the national team.

2000s edit

In 2002, Sanfrecce became the first former stage winner (first stage, 1994) to be relegated to the lower division, J2. But it only spent a year there, finishing second the very next season to regain promotion back to J1. The club finished 16th in the 2007 season and were relegated to J.League Division 2 after they were beaten by Kyoto Sanga in the promotion/relegation play-off. In 2008 they nevertheless won the J2 title at the first attempt, having 84 points (a difference of 25 points with the runner-up clubs) with six matches left.

By virtue of earning fourth place in the 2009 season and Gamba Osaka retaining the Emperor's Cup, Sanfrecce qualified for the Asian Champions League, where they were knocked out in the group phase.

On 24 November 2012, Sanfrecce defeated Cerezo Osaka 4–1 to seal their first ever J.League Division 1 title.[4][5]

On 7 December 2013, Sanfrecce defeated Kashima Antlers 2–0, securing their second J.League Division 1 title following a thrilling finish to the season which saw first-place Yokohama F. Marinos losing their final league game, handing Sanfrecce the title. With their second consecutive title win, Sanfrecce became the second club to successfully defend their crown since Kashima Antlers in 2009.

2015 proved to be a great year for Sanfrecce, finishing 1st in the 2nd half of the season, then finishing 1st overall, just 2 points above Urawa Red Diamonds, to qualify and represent Japan in that year's FIFA Club World Cup. They would finish 3rd, after winning, 2–1, against Chinese side Guanzhou Evergrande in the 3rd place match.

In 2018, after Sanfrecce progressively trailing towards a J1 title, as it led the standings after Round 5, the club fell down to 2nd-place at the end of the season. The club saw Kawasaki Frontale win the league as Sanfrecce lost four of their last five league matches.

In 2022, the club was relieved to experience another good season, under the management of newly appointed German coach Michael Skibbe. Underrated by many because of the previous season, the club fought for the title at every competition it played until the very end. The Violas finished 3rd place at the J1 League, as runners-up to J2 club Ventforet Kofu in the Emperor's Cup final, and as J.League Cup champions. The J.League Cup was won in dramatic fashion against Cerezo Osaka, as the club managed to comeback from a 1–0 loss with two goals scored by mid-season Cypriot signing Pieros Sotiriou. Both goals came very late in the match, being scored at the 96th and 101st minute of the match, during the added time of the second half. For his efforts to make the team competitive at every competition Sanfrecce partook in, Skibbe won J.League Manager of the Year, the club's 4th Manager of the Year title.

Kit and colours edit

Colours edit

The main colour of Sanfrecce Hiroshima is purple.

Kit evolution edit

Record as J.League member edit

Champions Runners-up Third place Promoted Relegated
Season Div. Teams Pos. Attendance/G J.League
1992 Group stage 2nd round Did not qualify Did not qualify
1993 J1 10 5th 16,644 Group stage Semi-finals
1994 12 2nd 17,191 1st round Quarter-finals
1995 14 10th 11,689 Runners up
1996 16 14th 8,469 Group stage Runners up
1997 17 12th 6,533 Group stage Round of 16
1998 18 10th 8,339 Group stage Quarter-finals
1999 16 8th 9,377 2nd round Runners up
2000 16 11th 8,865 2nd round Round of 16
2001 16 9th 9,916 Quarter-finals Round of 16
2002 16 15th 10,941 Group stage Semi-finals
2003 J2 12 2nd 9,000 Round of 16
2004 J1 16 12th 14,800 Group stage 4th round
2005 18 7th 12,527 Group stage Round of 16
2006 18 10th 11,180 Group stage Round of 16
2007 18 16th 11,423 Quarter-finals Runners up
2008 J2 15 1st 10,840 Quarter-finals
2009 J1 18 4th 15,723 Group stage 3rd round
2010 18 7th 14,562 Runners up 3rd round Group stage
2011 18 7th 13,203 1st round 3rd round
2012 18 1st 17,721 Group stage 2nd round 5th place
2013 18 1st 16,209 Quarter-finals Runners up Group stage Not eligible
2014 18 8th 14,997 Runners up Round of 16 Round of 16
2015 18 1st 16,382 Group stage Quarter-finals 3rd Place
2016 18 6th 15,464 Quarter-finals Quarter-finals Group stage Not eligible
2017 18 15th 14,042 Play-off stage Round of 16
2018 18 2nd 14,346 Group stage Round of 16
2019 18 6th 13,886 Quarter-finals Round of 16 Round of 16
2020 18 8th 4,545 Group stage Did not qualify -
2021 20 11th 5,920 Group stage 2nd round
2022 18 3rd 10,493 Winners Runners-up
2023 18 3rd 16,128 Group stage 3rd round
  • Pos. = Position in league
  • Attendance/G = Average home league attendance
  • 2020 & 2021 seasons attendances reduced by COVID-19 worldwide pandemic
  • Source: J.League Data Site

League history edit

Total (as of 2022): 51 seasons in the top tier and 7 seasons in the second tier.

Honours edit

As Toyo Kogyo SC and Mazda SC (amateur era) as well as Sanfrecce Hiroshima (professional era)

League edit

Cups edit

Winners (1): 2022

Continental record edit

Season Competition Round Club Home Away Aggregate
2010 AFC Champions League Group H   Shandong Luneng 0–1 3–2 3rd
  Pohang Steelers 4–3 1–2
  Adelaide United 1–0 2–3
2013 AFC Champions League Group G   Bunyodkor 0–2 0–0 4th
  Beijing Guoan 0–0 1–2
  Pohang Steelers 0–1 1–1
2014 AFC Champions League Group F   Beijing Guoan 1–1 2–2 2nd
  Central Coast Mariners 1–0 1–2
  FC Seoul 2–1 2–2
Round of 16   Western Sydney Wanderers 3–1 0–2 3–3 (a)
2016 AFC Champions League Group F   Shandong Luneng 1–2 0–1 3rd
  FC Seoul 2–1 1–4
  Buriram United 3–0 2–0
2019 AFC Champions League Play-off round   Chiangrai United 0–0 (a.e.t.)
(4–3 p)
Group F   Guangzhou Evergrande 1–0 0–2 1st
  Melbourne Victory 2–1 3–1
  Daegu FC 2–0 1–0
Round of 16   Kashima Antlers 3–2 0–1 3–3 (a)

Personnel awards edit



Players edit

Current squad edit

As of 30 January 2024[6]

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK   JPN Keisuke Osako
3 DF   JPN Taichi Yamasaki
4 DF   JPN Hayato Araki
5 MF   JPN Hiroya Matsumoto
6 MF   JPN Toshihiro Aoyama
7 MF   JPN Gakuto Notsuda
8 MF   JPN Takumu Kawamura
9 FW   BRA Douglas Vieira
10 MF   BRA Marcos Júnior
11 FW   JPN Makoto Mitsuta
14 MF   JPN Taishi Matsumoto
15 DF   JPN Shuto Nakano
16 DF   JPN Takaaki Shichi
17 MF   BRA Ezequiel
18 MF   JPN Yoshifumi Kashiwa
19 DF   JPN Sho Sasaki (captain)
No. Pos. Nation Player
20 FW   CYP Pieros Sotiriou
21 GK   JPN Yudai Tanaka
22 GK   JPN Goro Kawanami
24 MF   JPN Shunki Higashi
25 MF   JPN Yusuke Chajima
27 DF   JPN Osamu Henry Iyoha
32 MF   JPN Sota Koshimichi
33 DF   JPN Tsukasa Shiotani
34 MF   JPN Kohei Hosoya
35 MF   JPN Yotaro Nakajima
39 GK   JPN Haruto Usui (on loan from Matsumoto Yamaga)
40 MF   JPN Motoki Ohara
51 FW   JPN Mutsuki Kato
77 FW   JPN Yuki Ohashi
MF   JPN Shota Kohui Type 2
FW   JPN Aren Inoue Type 2

Out on loan edit

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
DF   JPN Jelani Reshaun Sumiyoshi (at Shimizu S-Pulse)
MF   JPN Kodai Dohi (at Tochigi SC)
MF   JPN Taishi Semba (at Fagiano Okayama)
No. Pos. Nation Player
FW   JPN Shun Ayukawa (at Oita Trinita)
FW   JPN Ryo Tanada (at Iwaki FC)

Sanfrecce Hiroshima Youth edit

As of 20 February 2023

The U-18 team of Sanfrecce Hiroshima currently plays in the Prince Takamado U-18 Premier League, the top-flight league for U-18 clubs in the country. Only the registered players for the competition will be displayed.[7]

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK   JPN Koshin Yamada
2 DF   JPN Mikio Yamane
3 DF   JPN Isshin Kuroki
4 MF   JPN Kanata Nakamitsu
5 MF   JPN Kazuma Matsumoto
6 MF   JPN Miran Ishihara
7 FW   JPN Zento Torii
8 MF   JPN Yotaro Nakajima
9 FW   JPN Jo Tsunokake
10 MF   JPN Hagumu Nakagawa
11 MF   JPN Yuki Kimura
12 MF   JPN Ayuki Masutani
13 MF   JPN Seiya Ishibashi
14 MF   JPN Shin Takeyama
15 MF   JPN Hinata Hashimoto
No. Pos. Nation Player
16 GK   JPN Shunsuke Sawada
17 MF   JPN Akashi Inoue
18 FW   JPN Shota Kofie
19 FW   JPN Aren Inoue
20 DF   JPN Arashi Daijomen
21 GK   JPN Hikaru Ogawa
22 DF   JPN Fuga Kotani
23 DF   JPN Yutaro Aoi
24 MF   JPN Hiroto Ukai
25 FW   JPN Soma Hiroshige
28 MF   JPN Shimon Kobayashi
29 FW   JPN Maki Sota
31 GK   JPN Kaito Noro
33 MF   JPN Seimei Naganuma
35 DF   JPN Shunta Hayashi

Club staff edit

For the 2024 season.

Position Name
Manager   Michael Skibbe
Assistant manager   Kenji Arima
First-team coach   Shinya Sakoi
  Serhat Umar
  Masaru Misuno
  Yoshifumi Matsuo
Goalkeeping coach   Shinkichi Kikuchi
  Takuto Hayashi
Physical coach   Minekazu Isobe

Managers edit

Manager Nationality Tenure Club Assistant coach
Yoshiki Yamazaki   Japan 1938–42, 1947–50 Toyo Kogyo
Minoru Obata   Japan 1951–63
Yukio Shimomura   Japan 1964–71
Kenzo Ohashi   Japan 1972–75
Ikuo Matsumoto   Japan 1976
Aritatsu Ogi   Japan 1977–80
Teruo Nimura   Japan 1981–83 MAZDA Sports   Eckhard Krautzun (August – September 1983)
Kazuo Imanishi   Japan 1984–87   Hans Ooft (1984–87)
  Dido Havenaar (1986–87)
Hans Ooft   Netherlands 1987–88   Dido Havenaar (1987–88)
Kazuo Imanishi   Japan 1988–92   Bill Foulkes (1988–91)
Stuart Baxter   Scotland 1 July 1992 – 31 January 1995 Sanfrecce Hiroshima   Jan Jönsson (1993–94)
Wim Jansen   Netherlands 1 February 1996 – 31 January 1997
Eddie Thomson   Scotland 1 February 1997 – 31 January 2001   Tom Sermanni (1997–98)
Valeri Nepomniachi   Russia 1 February 2001 – 17 December 2001
Gadzhi Gadzhiev   Russia 1 February 2002 – 15 July 2002
Takahiro Kimura   Japan 16 July 2002 – 30 November 2002
Takeshi Ono   Japan 1 December 2002 – 1 April 2006
Kazuyori Mochizuki (interim)   Japan 2 April 2006 – 9 June 2006
Mihailo Petrović   Serbia 10 June 2006 – 31 December 2011   Ranko Popović (2006–07)
Hajime Moriyasu   Japan 1 January 2012 – 4 July 2017
Jan Jönsson   Sweden 10 July 2017 – 7 December 2017
Hiroshi Jofuku   Japan 7 December 2017 – 25 October 2021
Kentaro Sawada   Japan 26 October 2021 – 31 January 2022
Michael Skibbe   Germany 1 Feb 2022 – present   Shinya Sakoi (2022–present)

Notes edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Sanfrecce Hiroshima Profile at J.League Official Website". Archived from the original on 3 October 2018. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  2. ^ "Edion Stadium Hiroshima". J.League. Archived from the original on 5 December 2020. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  3. ^ Club Profile: Sanfrecce Hiroshima FC Archived 13 March 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "SOCCER/ Hiroshima capture first J-League title – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun". Archived from the original on 18 January 2013. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
  5. ^ "Hiroshima capture first J-League title | Football | Reuters". Retrieved 30 November 2012.[dead link]
  6. ^ "トップチーム選手" (in Japanese). Sanfrecce Hiroshima. Archived from the original on 6 January 2023. Retrieved 6 January 2023.
  7. ^ "ユース選手". Archived from the original on 7 September 2022. Retrieved 7 September 2022.

External links edit