Getting to know- Kashima AntlersPosted: March 12, 2017
Brisbane’s 2017 AFC Champions League campaign resumes on Tuesday night with the Roar looking to get their campaign back on track against J-League giants Kashima Antlers. As we’ve done with every opponent in the Champions League, lets get to know a bit more about the current J-League Champions.
Kashima Antlers were founded as a semi-professional club back in 1947 as Sumitomo Metal Industries Football Club, playing out of Osaka before moving to Kashima in 1975.
When the newly formed professional J-League was formed in 1992, the club changed it’s name to Kashima Antlers and moved into their current home of the Kashima Soccer Stadium in 1993.
When the professional era of the game began in Japan, Kashima quickly emerged as one of the powerhouses of the competition and are one of just two clubs who have been in the J-League since its conception (Yokohama. F. Marinos is the other). ”
Kashima are the most successful club in the J-League’s history, with their eight Championships the most in the history of the competition. The five Emperors Cup wins is also the most for any club in that competition.
J-League- 1996, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2016.
Emperors Cup- 1997, 2000, 2007, 2010, 2016.
J-League Cup- 1997, 2000, 2002, 2011, 2012, 2015.
Japanese Super Cup- 1997, 1998, 1999, 2009, 2010, 2017.
Kashima Soccer Stadium
Kashima play their home games at the Kashima Soccer Stadium, roughly 90 minutes east of Tokyo and in the city of Kashima. The stadium itself is one of the 10 that Japan used to co-host the 2002 World Cup, with the venue playing host to three Group Stage matches. Kashima have played their home games at the ground since it was opened back in 1993.
Record in AFC Champions League
2003- Group Stage.
2008- Quarter Finals.
2009- Round of 16.
2010- Round of 16.
2011- Round of 16.
2015- Group Stage.
Kashima have been a regular representative of the J-League on the continental stage, with 2017 the Antlers seventh time in the competition. Despite never winning the competition, Kashima had a four year run of progressing beyond the Group Stage, with their best performance occurring in 2008 when they lost to Adelaide United 2-1 on aggregate in the Quarter-Finals.
How they Qualified
Kashima qualified for the 2017 AFC Champions League after winning both the 2016 J-League and the 2016 Emperors Cup, winning the League-Cup double for the third time in the last 16 years.
Manager- Masatada Ishii 50 year old Masatada Ishii has been the manager of Kashima Antlers since 2015 after a playing career which saw him make 109 appearances for the club from 1991-1997. In that time Ishii has lead the Antlers to a fifth placed finish in 2015 before winning the J-League in 2016. A J-League Cup win in 2015 and an Emperors Cup win in 2016, in addition to making the final of last seasons Club World Cup has enhanced his reputations as one of the best managers on the continent.
Goalkeepers- 1) Kwan Sun Tae, 21) Hitoshi Sogahata, 29) Shinichiro Kawamata, 31) Yuto Koizumi.
Defenders- 3) Gen Shoji, 5) Naomichi Ueda, 15) Misao Yuto, Shuto Yamamoto, 22) Daigo Nishi, 23) Oda Itsuki, 24) Yukitoshi Ito, 28) Koki Machida.
Midfielders- 4) Hugo Leonardo Serejo, 6) Ryota Nagaki, 8) Doi Shoma, 11) Weverson Leonardo Moura, 13) Atsutaka Nakamura, 20) Kento Misao, 25) Yasushi Endo, 26) Kazune Kubota, 27) Takahide Umebachi, 33) Kanazaki Mu, 36) Tanaka Toshiya, 40) Mitsuo Ogasawara.
Forwards- 7) Pedro Junior, 9) Yuma Suzuki, 14) Kanamori Takeshi, 18) Shuhei Akasaki, 30) Abe Hiroki.
Pedro Junior- Like a lot of J-League clubs, Kashima rely heavily on visa players from Brazil to strengthen their squad, and Brisbane’s matchday 3 opponent have three freshly signed ones at their disposal. The first of those is 30 year old attacker Pedro Junior, who started out his career with Brazilian lower league side Vila Nova. Four clubs and eight loan moves later across both Brazil and Japan –he joined Omida Ardija in 2007 before moving to Gamba Osaka in 2009- , he returned to Vila Nova in 2012.
That’s when Pedro’s career began to take off, after his goalscoring record of 9 goals in 17 games caught the attention of K-League side Jeju United. 17 goals in 29 games in South Korea saw Junior return to the J-League with Vissel Kobe in 2014. 25 goals in 74 games, including 13 in 2014 were enough to draw the interest of Kashima.
Leonardo- 23 year old forward Leonardo is the second of the three Brazilians for the Antlers and arrives in Japan on a season long loan from Brazilian club Palmeiras. The striker started out his career with Gremio before a loan move to Palmeiras was made permanent in 2013. Since then he’s been out on loan with the likes of Santos and Coritiba, with this year’s loan move his first outside of his homeland. Unlike the other two Brazilians at Kashima, Leonardo has been capped by the National Side, making the one appearance back in 2013 where he came off the bench to score in a 4-0 win in a friendly against Bolivia.
Leo Silva- The third and final Brazilian in the Kashima is 31 year old defensive midfielder Leo Silva, who arrives in Kashima after 122 games for Albirex Niigata –scoring 16 goals. Prior to that Silva started out his career at Brazilian club Cruzeiro before moving on to local Sao Paolo sides Americana and Portuguesa. Silva made the move from Brazil to Japan back in 2013, and was named in the J-League team of the year back in 2014.
Kwan Sun-Tae– 32 year old South Korean goalkeeper Kwan Sun-Tae rounds out the four visa players for Kashima, with the shot stopper arriving in Kashima over the off-season. Kwan brings a wealth of experience with him after 255 appearances for Jeonbuk Hyundai where he won three K-League and two AFC Champions League titles, including the 2016 addition.
Japanese Internationals– 22 year old defender Naomichi Ueda and 28 year old midfielder Ryota Nagaki were both called up to the Japanese National Team for their World Cup Qualifiers back in November. Defender Gen Shoji and midfielders Mu Kanazaki and Yashushi Endo have also been called up to the national side over the last year.