Cerezo have announced their preseason schedule today.
The team will start their preseason training on January 12th, and after 6 days in Maishima training ground, they will travel to Thailand for the first training camp on 18th. Although it isn’t included in the announcement, they will play a friendly match with partner club Bangkok Glass FC on 28th.
The first training camp will finish the next day, and probably after spending a few days of holiday, they will have the second training camp in Miyazaki Prefecture. It is scheduled to be held from February 3rd to 12th. This isn’t also announced yet, but the team will have several training matches there. The 2017 season of the J1 League will start on February 25th and Cerezo Osaka will take on Jubilo Iwata according to today’s report by Sports Hochi.
After the last post published, two more players committed their future to Cerezo. One is Souza, who had been loaned from Brazilian club Cruzeiro last season. Cerezo announced the signing of him on a full transfer on December 30th last year. As I wrote in the last post, Cerezo are seen to pay $1m to the rights holders of Souza.
On the New Year’s Eve, the club announced the agreement had been reached with Kenyu Sugimoto on his contract renewal. I don’t know why his contract renewal became so late but Sugimoto, clearly the team’s MVP in the 2016 season after scoring 14 goals and setting up 7 goals in the league games, is surely expected to play more key role in the J1 League from the start of the next season.
Cerezo announced the kits for the 2017 season on the New Year’s Day. My first impression was that they looked similar to those in 2015. The color looks red rather than pink but it may be because of lighting.
Hotaru Yamaguchi, who wears the new kits in the photos above, is rumored to wear the number 10 next season. When he visited a shop at the end of the last year, he bought a bag with the letters “HY★10.”