25 September 2008

Mito Youth Team Wins Ibaraki League; Update on National League

Mito HollyHock's youth squad has won the top division of the Ibaraki under 18 league for the first time, finally breaking the seal held in place by the Kashima Antlers youth. The team has many promising players, and many of them will likely join the top team and other pro and semi-pro teams as every year.

In the J-League youth tournament, Mito entered the qualifying round with the following matches set to decide advancement:

Home games
September 27 VS Tokyo Verdy 13:00~ at Hitachi
October 25 VS Thespa Kusatsu Undetermined time at Twin Fields
November 9 VS Consadole Sapporo 14:00~ at Kasamatsu
November 16 VS JEF United Chiba 13:00~ at Kasamatsu

Away games
August 31 VS Consadole Sapporo LOST 0-1 at Miyanosawa
September 15 VS Thespa Kusatsu WON 2-1 at Eren Village
October 19 VS Tokyo Verdy 15:00~ at Verdy Ground
November 3 VS JEF United Chiba 14:00~ at Ichihara Seaside Field

Mito is the only youth team in any group to already have played two matches and the only one in group A to play away matches. The away win and having a narrow away loss are both a big deal as looking at last year, Mito faced a youth meltdown to match the struggling top team, losing by huge margins against the likes of Yokohama FC and Omiya.

If Mito can make it out of the group stages it would be the first time. The top two teams in each 4 or 5 team group go on to the knockout tournament held throughout December.

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