Shonan Bellmare

Shonan Bellmare (湘南ベルマーレ, Shōnan Berumāre) is a Japanese professional football club based in Hiratsuka, in the west of Kanagawa Prefecture, part of the Greater Tokyo Area. The club plays in the J1 League, which is the top tier of football in the country. Their home stadium is Hiratsuka Athletics Stadium. Shonan refers to a coastal area along Sagami Bay that includes Hiratsuka. Bellmare is a portmanteau of the Italian words bello and mare, meaning "beautiful sea".

Shonan Bellmare
湘南ベルマーレ
Logo
Full nameShonan Bellmare
Founded1968; 53 years ago (1968), as Towa Real Estate SC
GroundLemon Gas Stadium Hiratsuka
Hiratsuka, Kanagawa
Capacity15,380[1]
ChairmanKiyoshi Makabe
ManagerBin Ukishima
LeagueJ1 League
2020J1 League, 18th of 18
WebsiteClub website
Current season

HistoryEdit

Early years as corporate teamEdit

The club was founded in 1968 as Towa Real Estate SC in Nasu, Tochigi.[2] They were promoted to the Japan Soccer League (JSL) Division 1 in 1972. They changed their name to Fujita Kogyo S.C. when Towa Estate Development gave up the ownership to their parent company Fujita Kogyo, which moved the club to Hiratsuka.

They won the JSL three times (including two doubles with the Emperor's Cup) between 1977 and 1981. They were nevertheless relegated to the JSL's Division 2 in 1990. Although they won the last JSL Division 2 season in 1991–92, the professionalization and formation of the J.League meant they did not meet the new top flight league's criteria and the runners-up, Kashima Antlers (formerly Sumitomo), were promoted instead.

1993 (JFL)Edit

In 1993, they adopted new name Shonan Bellmare. Their application to the J.League Associate membership was accepted. They played in the former Japan Football League Division 1 and won the league championship. After Hiratsuka City Council committed to finance the refurbishment of the Hiratsuka Stadium to meet the J.League requirements, J.League accepted the club.

1994–1997 (Golden era)Edit

 
Hidetoshi Nakata with the Asian Cup Winners' Cup trophy in 1996
 
Bellmare Hiratsuka 1994–1999 crest

The club was forced to change their name to Bellmare Hiratsuka because J.League required the participants to designate only one city or town as their hometown and include its name in the club names at that time. The club initially struggled to cope with the J.League opponents and finished 11th out of 12 in the first stage of the 1994 season. However, they came back in the second stage and finished 2nd. With this momentum, the club won the 1994–1995 Emperor's Cup. This title qualified Bellmare for the 1996 Asian Cup Winners' Cup, which they won by beating Iraq's Al Talaba in the final. Hidetoshi Nakata joined the team in 1995 and they also successfully recruited Brazilian-born Wagner Lopes and influential Korean international Hong Myung-bo. This is arguably the most successful period of the club.[3]

1998–1999 (Difficult period)Edit

Four Bellmare players were selected for the 1998 FIFA World Cup. They were Nakata, Lopes, Hong and a goalkeeper Nobuyuki Kojima. However, as Nakata left for Italian club Perugia just after the World Cup, the club's fortune started to decline. The main sponsor Fujita decided to discontinue the financial support in 1999 due to their own financial difficulties.[4] It forced the club to release some highly paid players including Lopes, Hong and Kojima. They finished bottom of J1 in 1999 and were relegated to J2.

2000–2009 (J2)Edit

The club made a new start. The ownership was transferred to a community-owned organisation. They also changed their name to Shonan Bellmare as J.League allowed them to enlarge their designated hometowns to include several cities and towns surrounding Hiratsuka.[4] The club's performance on the pitch has not been strong and they have not been serious contenders for the promotion to J1 so far.

A J1 comeback in 2010, if they are able to achieve promotion, will be the first without Fujita as their sponsor. Although for a time they refused to consider their history as the championship-winning Fujita corporate team in their current history, this year they celebrated the club's 40-year anniversary in 2009 as deduced from the badge in their Web site.

On 5 December 2009, Shonan returned to J1 as third-place finishers in 2009 seasons.

2010–current (Return to J1)Edit

The club returned to the J1 in 2010, but injured one after another and J2 was relegated after leaving four games. In the end, he won 21 consecutive league games. It was the worst record of J1 at that time. After that, the team will be repeatedly demoted to J2 and promoted to J1.

In recent years, the team has been steadily emphasizing. In 2014, the team made good progress in the J2, winning 14 consecutive games from the opening. The team was defeated by Ehime FC in the 15th round, but after that they lost 21 battles. J1 automatic promotion is confirmed. As a result, he won the J2 with 31 wins, 8 draws, 3 losses and 101 points in the 2014 season. In 2016, in the J1, Shonan Bellmare was the final result in 8th place, and it was the first time for J1 to remain in history. In addition, at the EAFF E-1 Football Championship 2015 held in August, Wataru Endo, who was on the team at the time, participated as a representative of Japan. In 2018, won the J.League Cup.[5] It was the first time for Shonan Bellmare to win three major titles since winning the 74th Emperor's Cup in the Bellmare Hiratsuka.

On the operational side, there was some report that the club fell into excess debt of more than 100 million yen in February 2012, and in the worst case the club itself could be dissolved (the actual amount of excess debt was 82.68 million yen). However, the debt insolvency was resolved by two capital increases.[6] In April 2018, SANEI ARCHITECTURE PLANNING, which was the largest shareholder of Shonan Bellmare, established "Merudia RIZAP Shonan Sports Partners" in collaboration with RIZAP GROUP. The new company acquired a 50% stake in Shonan Bellmare.[7] RIZAP GROUP intends to invest 1 billion yen in Bellmare over the next three years.[8]

Colour, sponsors and manufacturersEdit

Season(s) Main Shirt Sponsor Collarbone Sponsor Additional Sponsor(s) Kit Manufacturer
2019 MELDIA
三栄建築設計
- /
Anritsu (Left) 9 October 2019
RIZAP (Right) Sangyōnōritsu daigaku NT
Nihon tanshi
FUjiTA - PENALTY
2020 -

RivalriesEdit

Historically the Shonan area was part of a pre-modern province, Sagami Province, whereas Yokohama and Kawasaki were part of Musashi Province, hence Bellmare's intraprefectural rivalries with Yokohama F. Marinos, Yokohama FC and Kawasaki Frontale are based on the hard-working port cities of South Musashi as opposed to the more laid-back attitude of Sagami.

Record as J.League memberEdit

Champions Runners-up Third place Promoted Relegated
Season Div. Tms. Pos. Attendance/G J.League Cup Emperor's
Cup
Asia
1994 J1 12 5th 17,836 1st round Winner
1995 14 11th 16,111 2nd round
1996 16 11th 10,483 Semi-final Quarter-final CWC Winner
1997 17 8th 7,841 Group Stage Quarter-final
1998 18 11th 10,158 Group Stage 4th round
1999 16 16th 7,388 1st round 3rd round
2000 J2 11 8th 4,968 1st round 3rd round
2001 12 8th 4,112 1st round 2nd round
2002 12 5th 4,551 4th round
2003 12 10th 4,731 4th round
2004 12 10th 4,691 5th round
2005 12 7th 5,746 3rd round
2006 13 11th 5,365 4th round
2007 13 6th 4,677 4th round
2008 15 5th 5,994 3rd round
2009 18 3rd 7,273 2nd round
2010 J1 18 18th 11,095 Group Stage 3rd round
2011 J2 20 14th 6,943 Quarter-final
2012 22 2nd 6,852 3rd round
2013 J1 18 16th 9,911 Group Stage 3rd round
2014 J2 22 1st 8,478 3rd round
2015 J1 18 8th 12,208 Group Stage 3rd round
2016 18 17th 11,530 Group Stage Quarter-finals
2017 J2 22 1st 8,454 3rd round
2018 J1 18 13th 12,120 Winner 4th round
2019 18 16th 12,848 Group Stage 2nd round
2020 18 18th 4,467 Group Stage Did Not Qualify
Key
  • Tms. = Number of teams
  • Pos. = Position in league
  • Attendance/G = Average league attendance
  • Source: J. League Data Site

HonoursEdit

As Towa / Fujita
As Bellmare Hiratsuka / Shonan Bellmare

League historyEdit

  • Kanto Football League: 1970–71
  • Division 1 (Japan Soccer League Div. 1): 1972–89 (1972–74 as Towa Real Estate Development; 1975–89 as Fujita Industries)
  • Division 2 (Japan Soccer League Div. 2): 1990–91 (as Fujita Industries)
  • Division 2 (Japan Football League (former) Div. 1): 1992–93 (as Fujita Industries)
  • Division 1 (J.League Div. 1): 1994–99 (as Bellmare Hiratsuka)
  • Division 2 (J.League Div. 2): 2000–09 (as Shonan Bellmare)
  • Division 1 (J.League Div. 1): 2010
  • Division 2 (J.League Div. 2): 2011–12
  • Division 1 (J.League Div. 1): 2013
  • Division 2 (J.League Div. 2): 2014
  • Division 1 (J1 League): 2015–16
  • Division 2 (J2 League): 2017
  • Division 1 (J1 League): 2018–

Total (as of 2017): 28 seasons in the top tier, 18 seasons in the second tier and 2 seasons in the Regional Leagues.

PlayersEdit

Current squadEdit

As of 6 March 2021.[9]

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 Kosei Tani (on loan from Gamba Osaka)
3 DF   JPN Hirokazu Ishihara
4 DF   JPN Koki Tachi
5 MF   JPN Shota Kobayashi
6 DF   JPN Takuya Okamoto
7 MF   JPN Tsukasa Umesaki
8 DF   JPN Kazunari Ono
9 FW   BRA Wellington
10 MF   JPN Naoki Yamada
11 FW   NOR Tarik Elyounoussi
13 FW   JPN Naoki Ishihara
14 MF   JPN Akimi Barada
16 DF   JPN Shuto Yamamoto
17 FW   JPN Yuki Ohashi
18 MF   JPN Sho Hiramatsu
19 DF   JPN Shunya Mori
20 FW   JPN Shintaro Nago (on loan from Kashima Antlers)
21 GK   JPN Daiki Hotta
No. Pos. Nation Player
22 DF   JPN Kazuki Oiwa
23 GK   JPN Daiki Tomii
25 MF   JPN Shun Nakamura
26 DF   JPN Taiga Hata
27 FW   JPN Masaki Ikeda
28 MF   JPN Taiyo Hiraoka
29 MF   JPN Hidetoshi Miyuki
30 MF   JPN Sosuke Shibata
31 GK   JPN Kotaro Tachikawa
32 MF   JPN Satoshi Tanaka
33 FW   JPN Shuto Machino
34 DF   JPN Kodai Minoda
35 MF   JPN Naoki Hara
36 DF   JPN Taisei Ishii
37 FW   JPN Ryo Nemoto
39 FW   BRA Welinton Júnior (on loan from Portimonense SC)
40 MF   BRA Riuler
42 MF   JPN Ryo Takahashi

Out on loanEdit

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
GK   JPN Yota Akimoto (to Ehime FC)
GK   JPN Kota Sanada (to Ococias Kyoto AC)
DF   JPN Hayato Fukushima (to Fukushima United FC)
No. Pos. Nation Player
MF   JPN Hikaru Arai (to Gainare Tottori)
MF   JPN Mitsuki Saito (to FC Rubin Kazan)
MF   JPN Asahi Yokokawa (to Gainare Tottori)

ManagersEdit

In popular cultureEdit

In the Captain Tsubasa manga series, one character was player of Shonan Bellmare. The midfielder Jun Misugi, which also was player of FC Tokyo.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Stadium Capacity". bellmare.co.jp/stadium. bellmare.co.jp. Retrieved 3 March 2021.
  2. ^ Osumi, Yoshiyuki (1995). Yume no ishizue. Astro publishing. pp. 239–267. ISBN 4755508576.
  3. ^ "11年ぶりのJ1昇格を果たした湘南ベルマーレ 前例のない道を切り開く地域密着の挑戦に迫る" (in Japanese). Shonan Keizai Shimbun. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Bellmare boss' passion giving back to community". Asahi Shimbun. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  5. ^ "トーナメント表:2018JリーグYBCルヴァンカップ:Jリーグ.jp". Jリーグ.jp (in Japanese). Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  6. ^ "【御礼】湘南ベルマーレ持株会へご参加いただいた皆様へ « 湘南ベルマーレ公式サイト". Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  7. ^ "株式会社湘南ベルマーレ 募集株式発行及び株式会社メルディアRIZAP湘南スポーツパートナーズへの割当決定のお知らせ « 湘南ベルマーレ公式サイト". Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  8. ^ "RIZAPは湘南ベルマーレの「優勝」にコミットできるのか". ITmedia ビジネスオンライン (in Japanese). Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  9. ^ "2021トップチーム « 湘南ベルマーレ公式サイト". www.bellmare.co.jp. Retrieved 6 March 2021.

External linksEdit