03 March 2011

Looking towards 2011

The home game kickoff is in two days, as Kyoto visits K's Stadium for the first time.

The team has been finalized with a new player from Tsukuba University coming in to the squad on Monday, and this is the first year of no rented players in recent memory. Almost all the new players are from high school or university sides. The two who are not have come from Mito's main rivals, Tochigi and Kusatsu, each of whom also received previously Mito players (and unfortunately, good ones) in return.

A lot is unknown about how the team will play but hope can be taken in Sunday's preseason match. Mito defeated Kashiwa 1-0 in a great game with both sides throwing out their best. Mito's youth seems able to provide strong challenges and if all goes well, we could see a 2008-style run of quality that nobody was expecting beforehand.

Knowing league success would be difficult, new coach Hashiratani set a still lofty and somewhat more unorthodox goal: winning the Emperor's Cup. The prize money and publicity theoretically bringing more possibility to the club than a good but not promotion-attaining league finish.

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