Season 1 - July 2004


John Rayner(L) of Saitama JETs awards the Paul Adamson Memorial Cup to Bevan Colless(R) of Hibs.

OiFuto, 31st July, 2004. - Tokyo Hibernian FC added to their silverware on Sunday by winning the Paul Adamson Memorial Cup, in a hotly contest final that was decided by a PK shootout. 8 teams faced off to play in the 7-a-side memorial tournament, played in commemoration of Paul Adamson, the Saitama Jet player who tragically passed away recently.

Although the heat and humidity were unbearable there were goals-a-plenty - 75 in total. The group stages saw early showers for BFC Vagabonds, Hachioji Wanderers, Saitama Jets and an "All-Star" team forged from random vagrants, known cryptically as "Make up."


Swiss kickers celebrate being the 1st winners of the FJ Cup.

July 31st Oi Futo. The Swiss Kickers disposed of Perfidious Albion 2-1, in the final of the Wall Street Associates, Footy Japan Cup and in doing so silencing some critics who claim the Swiss are not the team they were. Newly promoted Perfidious Albion may well have had the psychological edge from the kick-off, following a string of bad results from the Swiss in the run-up to the final and the latter half of the TML.

In temperatures soaring well into the 30's, it was the Swiss who found the back of the net first as they broke from defense and moved the ball swiftly through midfield. Dave Pratt's quick feet and pin-point shot left the Albion keeper with too much to do and put The Swiss one nil up just before the well earned half time break.

Perfidious Albion's half time talk seemed to be taking effect early in the second half as some tenacious breaks through midfield started to exploit some lackluster (heat exhausted) tracking back from the Swiss. The Swiss quickly switched back into "Swiss" mode and tightened things up and "Nuddy" the Swiss's surrogate Peruvian/Japanese superstar had the Albion midfield at 6's and 7's. Seeing the keeper well off his line "Nuddy" cheekily lobbed the Albion No.1 from 40 yards, sparing him no blushes, 2-0.

Ten minutes from time and a moment of controversy saw a red card drawn for what the referee insists was a clear case of hand-ball by a Swiss defender on the goal line. The penalty was nicely slotted away instilling a glimmer of hope for the Albion as the Swiss were now down to ten men. A frantic final 5 minutes saw chances at both ends but at the final whistle the score remained 2-1 and the Swiss walked away with the inaugural Footy Japan Cup and their acclaimed reputation intact. Perfidious Albion, however, will clearly be pulling no punches when it comes to the TML division-one title chase next season - definitely a team to watch out for.


Karl Hahne, Swiss goal scorer attempts a Bicycle kick as Gary Robinson braces for impact.

July 25th Oi Futo. A gutsy performance by Shane wasn't quite enough for the 2nd Division outfit to repeat their Hibs giant-killing heroics against a typically efficient and solid Swiss Kickers, who secured a place in the final with a second-half goal from Karl Hahne.

Both teams started brightly, with Swiss trying to get it down and short-pass their way into the last third, and Shane defending well and looking to launch quick counterattacks. Well, it worked for Greece! Eventually, despite the Herculean efforts of Shane's Gary Robinson, the Swiss started to take control of the middle of the park. The new Swiss midfielder, drafted in to replace missing regulars, was outstanding, constantly getting away from his man and laying the ball off intelligently. But Shane were working hard to get men behind the ball and when Swiss did break through, they found Shane keeper Muro, in superb form, with a string of flying saves and brave one-on-one blocks. When he was finally beaten, Shane showed they had luck with them too, as the ball came off the inside of the post and bounced along the goal-line without going in.

The second half brought more of the same, with the Swiss in the box seat but Shane defending like men possessed and doing just enough up front to keep hopes of an upset alive. 25 minutes in, though, Swiss pressure told. Another nice passing move up the middle set up Jurg for a fierce shot which crashed against the foot of the post. This time the rebound fell more kindly for Swiss, straight to the right boot of Karl Hahne who tucked it away first time. The goal visibly deflated Shane, who were starting to wilt in the heat, and Swiss played out the match without too many scares.

So, Swiss's shock defeat against Geckoes didn't in the end impede their progress to yet another final, which as usual they will start as favourites. But if Shane's cup form is anything to go by, look for them to terrorize the 2nd Division next season.
Giles Lever

Perfidious Keeper, Giles Lever clears his lines to preserve their 1-0 lead.

A very even battle between Perfidious Albion (a.k.a. British Embassy) and France FC was decided by a defensive slip, when one of the French defenders deflected the ball in his own net mid way through the 2nd half.
Both teams turned up with plenty of substitutes, having learned lessons from the previous weeks matches in 'sauna like' conditions, and this showed in the way the pressure was kept up by both teams from start to finish.
Chances were at a premium throughout the game, as neither the trickery of Naoki Saito of France or 'Hitman' Fernando for BEFC could break down the opposition defence. Rob Flynn, the BEFC centre back was his usual commanding self, clearing everything in the air, as did Francois Mallet, the French captain, at the other end.
As they moved into the 2nd half, it looked like it may be a stalemate, both teams making regular substitutions to keep fresh legs, but neither team making the breakthrough. 10 minutes from time though, a Perfidious attack led by 'Wooly' & Sami Benlassoud led to a fired in ball being deflected by an unlucky defender past his own keeper.
Simon Woolhouse urged his British side on, as the French tried to counter winning numerous corners in the remaining minutes. Stout defending & good goalkeeping kept the french out however and Perfidious Albion found themselves in the same position as Millwall, being a 2nd Division team in the Cup Final.


Hibs defence in disarray as Dave Callaghan fires in a volley.

July 18th Oi Futo. Division 1 Champions Tokyo Hibernian were humbled by 2nd Division Shane FC in the last quarterfinal of the FJ Cup.
The game started at a frantic pace, despite the Tokyo heat and Shane FC were stringing some neat passes around and had a few through balls just miss their targets. but against the run of play, Hibs were able to pull a goal out of nothing with Jurgen's quick footwork in the box and powerful finish going past the Shane keeper.
1-0. Shane didn't give up hope and continued to play well, with good runs down the wings and a more good passing moves.
Possibly the highlight of the game was when a Shane midfielder danced his way through 4 Hibs players and then past the Hibs keeper only to miss hit his shot, and then see his teammate desperately dive and hit the ball up onto the crossbar and out to safety.

'You put your right foot in!' Hib's Yasu Yumoto & Gary Robinson of Shane practicing a new dance move perhaps?

Then just as Hibs were starting to settle, with a few dangerous balls past the Shane defense, Shane amazingly quick fired themselves into the lead. The first goal came from good attacking down the right wing, catching the Hibs on the counter and a quick cross and the striker bundled the ball into the net! 1-1.
Now Shane were really up for it. Their Central defender, Dave Callaghan was getting everybody pumped up. Hibs were suddenly on the ropes and then just a few minutes after finding themselves at 1-1, they were 2-1 down.
This time, another brilliant cross from a free kick found the Shane Strikers head and he looped the ball over the goalkeeper and sweetly into the net.
Hibs tried to get back into the game with a few long shots but to no avail. At half time it was 2-1 to Shane.

The second half opened very brightly for Hibs. They had many corners and had Shane under pressure for a short spell in the game. One hibs player jinked thru 3 defenders and his shot was just wide of the post. Shane were still a threat on the counter attack and almost took a 3-1 lead only to be denied by fantastic goalkeeping from the Hibs keeper, hitoshi Ono.
Hibs pushed and pushed for an equaliser only to see every attack break down due to a very organized Shane backline. There were scenes of celebration for the Shane players at the final whistle in what was a very good game and Shane had themselves a well deserved victory.
Andy Dunn

The faces say it all. Douglas Lee & Dierk Pagenstert challenge for the ball.

Wanting to avenge their defeat in the league, Swiss managed to hold off Sala for a 4-2 victory in their cup quarter final match. Sala looked to be on the right track for a league & Cup double over the new look Swiss, who've had to draft in new players to fill their depleting ranks, as Naoki Ogasawara opened the scoring with a lovely 30 yard goal.
It was his mistake at the back only minutes later, that let Swiss get a 'soft' equalizer though. Swiss took the score to 3-1 before Brian Gallagher scored a 2nd for Sala and almost equalized except for a great save from 0kubo, the Swiss stand-in keeper.
Karl Hahne finished off Sala late in the game when he rounded the keeper to make it 4-2. Swiss will now meet Shane in the semi-final, and I for one am making no predictions on the out come with all the upsets so far!!


Silvano knocks in the winner in the dying seconds to give Perfidious Albion the victory.

Despite taking a 2-0 lead, British FC succumbed to the heat & fresher legs of Perfidious Albion (British Embassy FC) losing in the final minute of the match 3-2. BFC took the lead with a cracking goal through Tomomitsu kunii, followed 15 minutes later by a 'Beckamesque' free kick from Jon Day.
Albion struck back just before halftime through Simon Woolhouse, when the BFC defence failed to clear the ball and he was left free to slide the ball past the keeper.
Albion could have equalized minutes into the 2nd half when they were awarded a penalty. Unfortunately Silvano also decided to replicate Beckham, but we all know the difference between Beckham's penalties & free kicks, don't we.
Another defensive slip soon after, put 'Wooly' through again, and again he finished with aplomb, lifting it over the keeper. It stayed at 1-1 for the next 30 minutes, with BFC trying to hold on with very tired legs & no subs, whereas Albion had 4 to keep rotating and stay fresh.
It was ultimately these fresh legs that won the day, as Richard Ngosi, just back on, danced passed 4 defenders before pulling the ball back for Silvano to make up for his PK miss. There were only seconds left after the restart, and Perfidious Albion secured their spot in the semi-final next Sunday against France FC.
more from BFC...


July 17th Oi Futo. In an eventful game on the dirt pitch at Oi, France, playing in white, outlasted a valiant effort by the Geckoes, playing in the blue of the national French team! The first half started with a bang as the French took a first minute lead with a beautifully chipped ball from the edge of the area by Etsushi Yoshikoshi who looked dangerous throughout the game, this was to be his only real scoring chance though and he took full advantage.

The momentum was with the French and they went close on two or three subsequent moves. The Geckoes however did not seem to mind too much, they regrouped and were soon playing well-organized, team football, and probably had the edge on possession in the half. Their inability to penetrate the solid back four of the French however saw them frustrated, and the game threatened to kick off in another sense when things were brought to a fever pitch by a controversial penalty decision that went Geckoes way.
1-1 and with the first-half seconds running out a ball lobbed into the Geckoes area found the French number 9 colliding with the Geckoes keeper. Rob the Geckoes keeper decided that the view from the six yard box was rather nice and steadfastly refused to move until an ambulance was called and 7 men with a stretcher were allowed to carry him off for X-rays and other niceties.

Playmakers Naoki Saito of France & Chris Waters of Geckoes fight for the ball in midfield

Get well soon Rob.

After a break of 25 minutes for said excitements the second half got under way and it was all the French could do to contain the Geckoes in a furious onslaught that lasted 15 or 20 minutes, but contain them they did, and the tide really turned when the French got a corner against the run of play which was, again, beautifully finished by a stout Gallic figure storming through the blue defense.

From then on frustration and tiredness began to take their toll on the gallant Geckoes, and the French wrapped things up with the piece-de-resistance in the final ten minutes; another, BEAUTIFUL shot, this time from their number 8, Ludovic Michuszewski who ran onto a ball played through the stranded defenders (by the best player on the pitch, the French midfield play-maker Kazu, No 10) and dispatched it with suave aplomb into the top corner.

The result was unfair to the Geckoes because theirs was the better team performance, what they lacked though was some of that Gallic flair and beauty found in easy abundance by their opponents. Despite the other French midfielders playing very much an individual style of football, Kazu was enough of an influence to make the difference, if they are to go on in the competition though they will have to find something else to rely on apart from that panache, and with a team with more creative options they may find themselves in trouble.
Bill Smith

B.F.A.T. coach, Jon Day, demonstrates dribbling techniques as the players look on.


July 10th Tokyo. The coaching services of the soon to be established British Football Academy Tokyo have been lent to the Big Issue over the past month. At the end of July, 8 Big Issue vendors working in Tokyo and Osaka will be sent to Sweden to compete in the Homeless World Cup 4-a-side competition.

Japan's national team will be facing the likes of England (coached by Manchester United) and Spain (coached by Real Madrid), not to mention the Brazilian homeless team, who, let's face it, probably need no coaching at all.

B.F.A.T. has been working hard to get the vendors into shape, many of whom, at the first session, looked like they'd never seen a football before. A few sessions later and the vendors, thanks to B.F.A.T.'s grassroots coaching approach, have shown a marked improvement.
As well as time and a great deal of energy, B.F.A.T's parent company Footy Japan has also donated a full set of shirts to the 8-man squad and stand alongside other sponsors of the team such as Bloomberg and Virgin Atlantic.

The Japan team being coached on a rooftop futsal court in Akasaka

B.F.A.T. wish the Big Issue boys the best of luck in this huge sporting event.
For more information about the Homeless World Cup check out:

Look out for news on B.F.A.T's official inauguration, coming soon...


Dierk Pagenstert stretches to no avail as Kazu Kikuchi scores the Geckoes 4th goal.

July 10th St Mary's. Wall Street Geckoes embarrassed the TML organizers for their presumption that the Swiss would remain top of Group B. By beating the Swiss 4-1 in a convincing win, Geckoes have forced a rescheduling of next weeks quarter finals, that had been pre-arranged on the assumption that the Swiss would at least draw with, if not defeat Geckoes in their final group game. But true to Murphy's law, Geckoes' Manager Rob Keyworth's warning, "Sid, you're gonna eat those words!" came back to haunt the TML premiere.

The Swiss took the lead mid-way through the 1st half, when a defensive error left Angelo free in the 6 yard box to score. The new look Geckoes wearing blue, rather than their usual yellow strip, battled back hard, taking advantage of a fatigued looking Swiss midfield who were flagging in the heat. They were rewarded when Mikkel Troen neatly rounded Okubo, the Swiss' stand-in keeper, to make it 1-1.
They were then unlucky not to be leading by the break, as they saw another shot come off the woodwork, but it remained 1-1 at half-time.

The 2nd half saw both teams suffering in the oppressive heat & humidity, the Swiss strikers usually so deadly, not finding their mark. As the game wore on it seemed as though a draw was on the cards, but as in recent weeks the final period saw a flurry of goals, all at the Swiss end.

BFC's Tomo, holds of 2 Celt defenders as he twists & turns in midfield.

The Geckoes took advantage of the frequent holes appearing in the Swiss defence, making no mistake with their finishing. The final result of 4-1 was well deserved by the newly promoted Geckoes and bodes well for their 1st season of top flight football. They will now meet the French next Saturday in the quarter-finals, while Swiss will revisit Sala, the site of their last defeat in the final match of last season.
more from Geckoes...
BFC & Kanto Celts battled it out to a 4-2 scoreline, to finish out all the group matches of the FJ Cup.
With Celts struggling to get a team out, players were lent & borrowed to make a game of it, as the result wouldn't affect the league standings.
BFC went 2-0 up by half-time though goals from Rob Day & Tomomitsu Kunii. 2 more 2nd half goals made sure of it for BFC but Celts did pull 2 back through borrowed BFC striker Andy Dunn.
more from BFC...

June 2004


Keita Narama slots home Hibernians 1st goal past the oncoming Giles Lever.

June 26th Oi Futo. 2nd spot in Group B was wide open as the final games were played simultaniously at 2 locations. Div 1 Champions Hibernian FC, met newly promoted Div 2 Champs, Perfidious Albion at OiFuto, while zillions of miles away at Ina, Saitama, BFC Vagabonds played Barbarians. With both Albion & Barbarians on 3 points, it looked like Barbarians may only need a draw with Hibs being favourite in the group.

So it was thinking they'd need a result to have any chance, that Simon, Collier & Biffa led their squad out to meet the peril of Terry Cooney & the Hibs.
It was a tough battle from the word go, with Hibs midfield working hard to take control. Albion keeper Giles Lever was froced to make to smart saves to keep out Dave Thomas & keita Narama, but was unable to keep out the latter when he was put though midway through the 1st half. Narama was quick to chase down a ball angled into the right side of the box, getting there in time to slide it under the advancing keeper.
Just before half-time, Bevan Colless latched onto a ball hoisted over the defence and perfectly lobbed the stranded keeper. The Albion linesman frantically flagged for offside but the ref deemed it not to be interfering with play and the goal stood.

Albion Striker, Sami Benlassoud (red) watches his shot hit the legs of Hibernian keeper Hitoshi Ono. Why Hibs Striker Dave Thomas is in there trying to tackle is a mystery, must be a testament to his youthful fitness!!.

2-0 at the break and things looked grim for Albion. Despite pleas to make phonecalls, no news could be obtained rom the other match, so Albion went back out fighting. Gerard Brady working well down the right, with Fernando & Sami in te centre, started to give Hibs a few problems but on the counter Yasu Yomoto hit the bar and Ike Nakayama terrorized the Albion defence.
In the final quarter of the match, Albion got the break-through they were looking for as Fernando Bermudez slipped past the Hibs defenders and stroked the ball under Hitoshi Ono to make it 2-1 but they couldn't find the 2nd they needed.
When the final whistle went, Albion thought they'd blown it. It wasn't until 15 minute later that a call came through from Ina, saying Vagabonds had beaten Barbarians 3-2, thus giving Albion 2nd place in the group with a +4 goal difference.
Hibernian will now face Shane FC and Albion meet BFC in the quarter finals on July 18th.

The Saitama Jets got their first win in the Footy Japan Cup, with a convincing 5-0 win over struggling Hachioji Wanderers.
The Jets raced to a 3-0 lead at half-time with goals from Garner, Gildart and Eite, and added 2 more for good measure in the second period.
A string of near-misses from Saitama in the second-half, including one effort which rattled the Hachioji crossbar, meant that the eventual 5-0 scoreline was flattering to the Wanderers, who ended their cup campaign without a goal. Lets hope they get some practice in the Summer ready for Division 2 next season, good luck!


Pablo Gularte fires home the 4th french goal.

June 20th St Mary's. 2 goals in quick succession mid-way through the 1st half from the French looked to be enough to gain them a comfortable victory over Nova FC. On another very hot day though many goals came in the last 10 minutes as both teams flagged in the heat. Again in quick succession, the french scored 2 goals 8 & 6 minutes from time. With a 4 goal advantage, everything was going their way, till Nova took advantage of some sloppy defending and scored 2 in the last 2 minutes. It was too little too late though so it's now up to Sala vs Nova to see who tops the group!

In the 2nd match, Shane FC took an early lead through James Knight and it was enough to give them the game. They held onto the 1-0 lead in the searing heat to join Turtle FC on 6 points but lower on goal difference. A draw with Rikimaru in their final game will be enough to see Shane into the 1/4 finals.
more from Shane...
BFC overcame searing heat and cyclonic dust-storms to beat Rikimaru FC 4-0 and book their place in the knockout stages of the Footy Japan Cup on Sunday. A first-half double from Alastair Himmer and further goals after the break from young Andy Dunn and Evans made it three out of three for BFC in the cup following a disappointing league campaign. The margin of victory could have been greater but BFC were happy to escape with another victory in stamina-sapping conditions at Harajuku. more from BFC...


The Maritizio keeper gets down well to deny Sala's Roody from scoring. Roody did score 2 late in the 1st half though helping Sala to a 4-3 win.

June 19th OiFuto 1. Sala came from 2 goals down to beat Maritizio 4-3 giving them an early exit from the cup. With a few new faces out, Maritizio came out looking strong in the hot afternoon sun and earned an early goal (albeit an unlucky own goal) after just 11 minutes. Taking the play to the opposition, they made it 2-0 through Katamata after 25 minutes and seemed well in control of the game. Sala, coming off the back of a tournament win in Nagano, realized they needed to dig in and fight to get a result. That's just what striker Roody Charles did, firing home 2 goals in quick succession before half-time
After the break, Sala were the more dominant taking the lead through Naoki Ogasawara after 10 minutes. It stayed like that until 15 minutes from the end when Maritizio were handed a lifeline, a Penalty nicely converted, that could give them a valuable 4th point in their group. With just 5 minutes to go however kentaro Ishii struck the winning goal for Sala, putting them back at the top of the group with France FC, both on 4 points.
Group C Qualification settled
Swiss Kickers & WallStreet Geckoes, both secured qualification to the 1/4 Finals of the FJ Cup with their 2nd wins in group C.
Swiss met Saitama JETs and were held in the 1st half to just 1 goal from David Pratt. As the JETs pushed forward in the 2nd half though, they were torn apart by the Swiss' quick accurate passing and finally went down 5-0.
In the 2nd match at Ina, Wallstreet Geckoes beat Hachioji Wanderers 3-0 to send them off packing along with the JETs. The match between Swiss & Geckoes to decide who is 1st & 2nd, is to be re-arranged in the next couple of weeks (having been cancelled last week due to rain).

TML champions Hibs crush Vagabonds 7 nil.

Dave Thomas slides home the 1st goal after a nice through ball.

June 13th OiFuto 2. TML champions Hibs stayed on course for a league and cup double with a 7-0 demolition of second-division Vagabonds on Sunday. The Vagabonds frustrated the Hibs in a brave first-half display, restricting the men in green to one goal. But they were hit for six after the break by a rampant Hibs team fully recovered from the Mother of all Drinkathons at the recent TML awards party.


Sala beat Celts in the final of the 6th ALT Higashi Nihon Tournament in Nagano. more...

BFC beat Shane FC 3-0
Three first-half goals were enough for BFC to overcome a stubborn Shane FC side 3-0 in a workmanlike display on Sunday. Brian Doyle, Jon Day and Alastair Himmer all scored with headers to effectively secure their second straight cup victory but, in stamina-sapping conditions on a pitch the size of a Baltic state, BFC were unable to add to their lead in the second half.



A combination of players from Swiss (6), Hibs (2) & Sala (1), led by Kirk Neureiter came runners-up in the plate competition at the Hong Kong 7's last weekend. Losing 2-0 to Celtic, 4-0 to Rangers but beating HK Uni 1-0 put them into the plate on the 2nd day. Winning their first 2 games, they succumbed to Buller Rangers (3rd placed finishers in Hong Kong's professional league), 1-0 in the final. The winners of the main cup were Aston Villa 2-0 over Man U, to be champs 2 years in a row.
In the masters competition, YC&AC were knocked out in the 1/4 final of the main comp (no mean feat!) by a bunch of all stars including, Stuart Ripley & Gordon Cowans.
Both teams did a great job at the tourney, doing the TML proud with their performances. Hopefully soon we will be sending TML all star teams to other Asian tournaments.

June 5th. Ina, Saitama. In the biggest upset of the cup so far, an understrength Perfidious Albion were beaten 2-0 by Barbarians. First half goals by Hideki Kageyama & Michael Buckley, were enough for the bottom placed team in the league to see off the newly promoted champions who couldn't even muster a full squad on the day. Perhaps they were all thinking about picking up their league trophy at FOOTNIK in the evening! Well with only 3 points from their first 2 games and the Div 1 Champions to meet next, Perfidious are going to have to fight hard to make the cut for the 1/4 finals.
Kanto Celts finally got the win they've been looking for with a 3-0 victory over Rikimaru FC. Celts left it till mid-way through the 2nd half before getting off the mark through Wataru Tabushi. Colman Murray added a second 10 minutes later, then Captain Eric Persson rounded off the scoring 8 minutes from time. In the only 5 team group, anything could still happen though it's an uphill struggle for Rikimaru with 2 losses.

HIBS & ALBION CROWNED - but not for their singing!

Hibernian Players celebrate in true footballing style, singing & drinking beer from the Metropolis League Champions Cup. Taras Koochin (holding cup) also won a diving course in the raffle.

June 5th, FOOTNIK, Ebisu. Hibs clean up in raffle to complete their excellent 1st season.
Around a hundred people packed into sponsor FOOTNIK, football bar next to Ebisu station for the first TML 'End of season' award party. Many captains & managers got there early for a meeting to discuss problems from the 1st season to be corrected and it was great to see them all very happy with the way things have gone. All are looking forward to next season when we look set to have an even better league.
Once all the players started arriving, they settled into the mood with the aid of a few beers & a video slide show of photos from over 40 1st season matches - contained on the photo CD presented to everyone attending the party. Most of the teams in the league (and some yet to join) were represented, with a large number of Hibs, Albion (BEFC) & BFC.

So Takada receives his Golden Boot trophy & PUMA boots from TML assistant Miyako.

The presentation kicked off with the Golden boot awards, sponsored by PUMA.

Graeme Lane is all smiles as TML assistant Kyoko, hands him his Golden Boot.

The Division 2 winner, So Takada of Dutch FC scored 7 goals in their 8 matches and was the first player to score a hat-trick in the league, when Dutch beat Barbarians 3-2 on Jan 24th at YC&AC..
The Division 1 Golden Boot went to Graeme Lane, captain of YC&AC. He scored an amazing 13 goals in just 8 matches, including 3 hat-tricks. Now that's the way to lead your team by example!

Brian Gallagher of Fair Play Soccer School gives Brian Doyle of BFC the Fair play award.

Next up came an idea from Brian Gallagher of Sala FC, who also runs the Fair Play Soccer School, the Division 1 Fair Play Award. The teams with the least number of Yellow cards in Division 1 were British FC and Nelson FC, both having received just 1 card. It was therefore decided by Brian, the award go to the team with the most goals of the 2, which was BFC with 16. There were many expressions of surprise at BFC being awarded this as they're not famous for their good behaviour, but it's more a testament to the good refereeing. Brian graciously accepted the award, though was embarrassed to admit, it was he who picked up BFC's only card but promised to be a good lad next season!.
Hopefully by the end of next season, we'll get a sponsor for a Division 2 Fair Play Award.

And so we came to the crowning of champions.

Yuji, owner of FOOTNIK, with Simon Collier & 'Biffa' of Div 2 champs, Perfidious Albion.

The location of the party, at FOOTNIK, was chosen as they are sponsors of the 2nd Division. Yuji Imai, owner of this football bar, was on hand to do the presentation.
Runners up in Div 2 were Wall Street Geckoes, with manager Rob Keyworth present to collect their trophy. They'll be facing the big guns along with Perfidious Albion, in Division 1 next year.
Champions, Perfidious (ex BEFC) Albion went the first season undefeated, with 7 wins and 1 draw. Perhaps that's why they were a little subdued in their celebrations, having been defeated 2-0 earlier in the day by Barbarians in a cup match. Captain Simon Collier was still very happy to be champions though, and Biffa chipping in with
"Division 1 champs next year mate!"
Well that could prove to be a bit more of a challenge!

Terry Cooney receives the Metropolis Cup from sponsors Mark & Mary Devlin of Metropolis Magazine..

Finally came the 1st Division Champions. Awarding the trophies were Division 1 sponsors Mark & Mary Devlin of Metropolis Magazine, the main media support of TML. Swiss top scorer, Karl Hahne, received the award for runners up, vowing to rid Swiss Kickers' cars of 'Navi' systems for next season!
Then the main trophy, TML Division 1 Champions, for which Terry Cooney, manager of Tokyo Hibernian FC, proudly strode up to receive. The Hibs players, well into their umpteenth round of beers by then, went wild, breaking into choruses of.... I'm not quite sure really, but it was loud!
Terry's speech of "those of you who know what went before" was well received by all present, if not his later statement of "Next the FJ Cup for the double!"
The raffle saw some great prizes being won, Taras Koochin got a diving course in Krabi, Thailand courtesy of Krabi Seaview Resort owner & TML referee Werner Urech. Karl Hahne won a DVD player from HIT TRAVEL and there were many more prizes from TOKYO PHYSIO, NEUROMUSCULAR THERAPY, PUMA & more.
The drinking & singing continued on into the night and it was great to see players from different teams all enjoying themselves together.


May 2004


May 29th, Oi Futo 1. As temperatures soared, some teams got hot under the collar during the 4 cup matches played.

Simon Jelfs hoists aloft Jonathon Rodrigues after his header put Geckoes ahead.

First out in the midday sun were Satama JETs & Wall street Geckoes. It was a close 1st half battle with Geckoes striker, Jonathon Rodrigues, heading home a corner to make it 1-0 just before half-time.
Mikkel Troen made it 2-0 soon into the 2nd half and Geckoes looked to be cruising, but JETs were in no mood to give up and were awarded a Penalty after 70 minutes.
At 2-1, Geckoes were in danger or losing control, both of the game and their cool as they contested the penalty decision. They were even more upset as Tony Moore was shown his 2nd Yellow card for a foul and had to march. They hung on for the win though and Tony didn't seemed to upset that he'd miss facing the Swiss in the next match!

Celts keeper too late to stop katase getting the winner.

A single 2nd half goal by Turtle FC's Kunihiko Katase, made up for a penalty miss by team-mate Zako in the 1st half and was enough to see off the Celtic challenge.
Turtle were awarded a penalty early in the 1st half but despite sending the Celt keeper the wrong way, Zako saw his shot come back off the upright to be cleared by a defender. They had a couple more good chances, 1 hitting the bar and another being well saved, but they couldn't break the deadlock. Kanto Celts worked hard as usual but couldn't find their form in front of goal either with their top striker Simon Gilhooly missing and things stayed level til half-time.
It stayed the same through most of the 2nd half until a probing ball put Katase through on goal for Turtle. He was quickly closed down by Celt keeper Rauri Hatchell but managed to just flick it over the advancing goalie to put Turtle in front.
Celts mounted their usual, final charge, with Captain Eric Persson urging his men on, but to no avail. With 2 losses from 2 their hopes of qualifying for round 2 are fading, whereas Turtle with 2 wins from 3 look in good shape.

French defence rooted to the spot as Ishii flicks in his 2nd goal for Sala.

Sala FC held on for a tough 2-2 draw against a French team who really wanted all the points. France FC started the scoring through David Laviol after about 15 minutes but Sala replied immediately with 2 quick goals from Kentaro Ishii. Then came controversy....
France FC mounted a good attack, the shot being cleared from going in the top left corner. The French cry penalty, Sala cry no, the slightly unsighted ref points to the corner spot.
Whether it was the goalies fist or defenders head or fist, is history now, and the score stayed 2-1 till half-time.
France got their equalize early in the 2nd half through a great 30 yard volley from Laurent Frisch that went in off the back post leaving the keeper little chance. France upped the pressure and Naoki Saito gave Douglas Draper a torrid time at left back for Sala. No more goals were to come though and Sala were relieved to hear the final whistle & get into the shade, while the over-heating French were still debating the 1st half call. With just Nova to play though, France FC look in good shape for going to the next round.

Vagabond 'Oldtimer', Adrian Thomas, tries to take on 2 Albion lads whose combined age won't reach his!

2 very depleted squads, Vagabonds more so with just 10 men & no keeper, lined up for the final game of the day. Perfidious Albion missing Captain Simon & Biffa amongst others, just got an eleventh man turn up before kick off and in the late afternoon heat, the extra man made a big difference. Having a 'real' keeper helped, as it was lack of experience between the posts that contributed to many of the goals against Vagabonds, despite the valliant efforts of the volunteers.
Sami Benlassoud opened the scoring for Albion midway through the 1st half and it was soon followed by a great 30 meter strike from Simon Woolhouse.
2-0 at half-time and Vagabonds were still in with a chance, but changes in keepers, old age and a missing player all added up to another 4 goals against them. Both 1st half scorers got 2nd goals along with Silvano and a rare headed goal for Keith Crowley.

For the FJ Cup Tables CLICK HERE


May 22nd, Oi Futo 1. New teams get harsh welcome to TML

Jyrki Jaaskelainen plucks a ball from the head of Karl Hahne.

The first of the new teams joining TML, Hachioji Wanderers, got a rather rough introduction when they had to meet Swiss Kickers in their FJ Cup group C meeting. Swiss of course had a point to prove after their previous weeks debacle and made the Wanderers the focus of their frustration at having lost the league. Wanderers Captain Andy Watanabe was well aware of the Swiss' reputation and hoped by playing them first, using an 'eleven men behind the ball' strategy, they may have a chance to get something... Right!
Even with many players missing, Swiss still had a formidable squad. German striker, Karl Hahne, showed why he was runner up in the Div 1 Golden boot, scoring a hat-trick within a 12 minute period late in the 1st half, followed by another goal in the 2nd half.
Wanderers Finnish Keeper, Jyrki Jaaskelainen (Well that's what the team-sheet says, honest) had a very busy day in the office, making multiple saves yet still having to pick the ball out of the back of the net at regular intervals. The score could have been double but the Wanderers took it in their stride well, even cheekily asking after the game "was it 1 or 2 nil?"

George Clarkson of Hibs heads home his 1st of 2 goals.

I was surprised turning up to the first match of the day, between Top of Div 1 - Hibs & bottom of Div 2 - Barbarians, to find the score was 0-0 and even more surprised to see it stay that way till half-time. Of course, with 2 teams so far apart in the league, you'd expect lots of goals, but there in lies the glory of the cup. The underdogs were fighting back - well more like holding on by the skin of their teeth!
Things turned bad for Barbarians as a ball into the box was obstructed by the trailing arm of a defender, giving the ref no choice but blow for a penalty. This was duly dispatched by Keita Narama and seemed to open the flood-gates.
Mick O'Hagen was on fine form, firing home a couple of great strikes and fellow 'Oldboy' George Clarkson was well pleased to watch not one, but two of his back post headers beat the keeper. The 5-0 end result was soured for the Hibs though, as defender Karl Twohig was stretchered(well carried) off with torn ligaments in his ankle and now looking at another long lay off.

Katase of Turtle FC, fires a shot straight at the Rikimaru keeper.

Turtle FC allowed new-comers Rikimaru FC, to come back twice but finally won 3-2 for their 1st victory in any TML game. Rikimaru, who will join Turtle in Division 2 next season, fought a spirited match giving their rivals little space to move. The young Japanese team closed Turtle down at every opportunity, which led to their 2nd goal directly. A Turtle defender tried to clear the ball at the edge of his box, his kick only coming straight back off the Rikimaru strikers, 'thigh'?, looping over the keeper & in. A tad lucky but an equalizer all the same.
Turtle were having none of it though, taking advantage of a defensive error, scored the winner 10 mins from time.

France FC keeper, Elliot, is unable to stop Kuni Hosoi's great 1st half strike.

After winning their 1st cup game last week, then a great early goal by striker Kuni Hosoi, Maritizio thought they were well on their way to qualifying for the quarter-finals, until France stepped it up a gear.
Hosoi's 1st half strike from the edge of the 18yd box, was one of Maritizio's few chances, where-as at the other end, France were causing all kinds of problems. Etsushi Yoshikoshi was on target twice as the French took a 3-1 lead into half-time.
Even the late arrival of John Ologbosere, could only provide one goal for Maritizio in the 2nd half, leaving them the task ahead of beating Sala if they want to progress in the cup, whereas the French still have 2 to play.


Ninja Turtle, Katsuaki Aoyama, tries to fend off winning goal scorer, Rob Day.

May 16th, Oi Futo 2. First 3 matches see 22 goals scored in start of Footy Japan Cup
Now the league is over, it's time for that great leveller, the Cup. The first match to be played was between Group A teams, BFC and recently relegated Turtle FC (ex-Nelson), at St Mary's on Saturday. It almost proved to be the first upset as well, as BFC had to come from 2-1 behind to win 3-2 with 2nd half headed goals from brothers Jon & Rob Day. With 5 teams in their group though, both teams still have a long way to qualify.
Full report from BFC...
In another Group A match on Sunday, Kanto Celts met Shane FC at Oi Futo and had themselves a real see-saw battle, with some spectacular goals and a hat-trick from Celts' Simon Gilhooly. It ended with Shane hanging on for a 5-4 victory and taking top spot in the group.

TML Card holders can now get even more discounts with the arrival of new associate sponsors. For help overcoming injuries, we welcome Neuromuscular Therapist, Hiroko Yanagida & FIT's Jeff Peterson who join TOKYO PHYSIO in giving our members great discounts.
We've also got some more places for the other way to treat your pains, Pubs! Recently the latest TOWN CRYER opened in Otemachi as did LEGENDS Sports Bar in Roppong. The Shinjuku DUBLINERS also came aboard offering cheaper drinks.
For details of these and all our associate Sponsors discounts, please visit the SPONSORS page.
If you are interested in becoming a TML Sponsor, Contact Us

The final game of the day was a group D encounter between Nova FC & Maritizio. Again it was the Division 1 team that had to come from a goal behind to the Division 2 team.
After going 1-0 down in the 1st half, Maritizio quickly replied going 5-1 up by mid-way through the 2nd half with a brace of goals each for Kuni Hosoi & Misha Boudney. Nova still had a point to make though and gave Maritizio a scare with 2 goals in the last 10 minutes ending the match 5-3.
FJ Cup Tables

Sala goalscorer Giles Legg, challenges Dale Nocholls for the ball as David Pratt looks on.


May 15th, Hachioji Park. Swiss ambushed by technology, then Sala in final leg of title race.
The perfect setting for the league decider proved to be 'a pitch too far' for the Swiss as first their car navi systems brought them to the ground an hour late and then Sala brought them to their knees with 3 late goals in a shorterned match.
After a tough first half where he well warmed up Sala should have scored a sitter and Swiss thought they should have had a penalty for hand ball, the teams went in at half-time with no score on the board.

Swiss top scorer Karl Hahne beaten to the ball by Robbie Jones

It was the Swiss took the lead early in the 2nd half though a low drive from David Pratt but Sala were having none of it. In a game with some strong challenges coming in from both teams, it was Sala who battled back with 2 goals from Giles Legg and one from Jody Brooke to send Swiss crashing to their 2nd defeat of the season and handing Hibs the title.
Hibs players were ready with their mobile phones to find out the result and were jubillant at Sala's Victory, though they could have wrapped up the title ages ago when they allowed Swiss to come back from behind in their match earlier in the season.
Congratulations Hibs on a great 1st season in the TML.


May 9th, Hachioji Park. Rain can't dampen geckoes joy as 3-0 win sends them up.
In scenes more reminiscent of Victorian London's foggy back streets, Shane FC met Geckoes on a wet, misty evening in the wilds of Saitama's Hachioji Park. Even with heavy rain falling all day, there was no way the artificial ground was going to be cancelled, so it was 2 very soggy teams who left the field at the end of play with just one being jubilant.
It was an evenly poised 1st half, shane mounting some good attacks, Brummie Dave coming close with a good header & Geckoes captain Rob forced into a couple of good saves in goal. It was Geckoes who took the lead though after a good run down the right was completed with a nice cross. The ball should have been cleared, but somehow made it through to the back post leaving an easy tap in for Alex Crawshaw's first goal. 1-0.
Alex got his 2nd mid way through the 2nd half when he superbly trapped a though ball about 25 yards out. He looked up, saw the keeper off his line and expertly chipped him for 2-0.
Shane kept pushing to try and get back in the game, but were hit with a classic sucker punch when Geckoes caught them on the break and Chris Waters chipped the Keeper for No. 3. The scoreline flattered Geckoes somewhat, but they won't mind as they'll be playing 'real' 1st Division football for the first time in their history while Shane remain mid table Div2.
Full report from Geckoes...

Celts defend a 1st half corner


May 8th, Hachioji Park. Lack of substitutes instrumental in Celts downfall.
After a tough first half battle with Celts having the better of the chances, BFC Vagabonds held on to grab a 2nd half victory despite losing their captain, Bill Smith, with apparent ACL damage mid way through that could put him out for months. Celts came close with a near post header and had a couple of shots well saved by the Vagabonds keeper but their lack of substitutes began to show in the 2nd half as their pace dropped off and cramp took it's toll.

Andy Dunn slots home Vagabonds first goal

A quick passing move down the right by the Vags saw recently returned striker Andy Dunn put through on goal, where he calmly tucked the ball into the bottom left corner. The score was doubled soon after with a nicely worked free kick putting substitute Mike Yeomans in on goal to finish with aplomb.
Celts continued to fight back and Captain Eric Persson was unlucky to see his lob first come off the crossbar and then be cleared off the line by a defender. The Vagabonds defence held tight however and they cheerfully took the 3 points and secured 4th place in Div 2.
Full report from Vagabonds...

'Get stuck in.' Nova's midfield were up for the challenge.


May 2nd, Shin Koiwa. Draw against Nova gives Geckoes chance of promotion.
When Division 2 top scorer, So Takada, scored his 7th league goal putting Dutch Embassy ahead in the 1st half, it looked like they were guaranteed Div 1 football next season. Both Takada and his strike partner Yusuke Shuto were a constant threat but Nova fought hard and held the scoreline to 1-0 at half-time.

'OUT OF NOWHERE' The Dutch keepers acrobatics do no good as Scott Thomson's shot sails into the top corner with no players in the box even.

So Takada blasted wide when Dutch were awarded a penalty early in the 2nd half but things should have been wrapped up when An-li Tan made it 2-0 soon after. Nova's Skyler Webster, however made no mistakes when they were awarded a PK 3 minutes later and the resulting goal lifted Nova's spirits.

So Takada's shot is parried wide by the Nova keeper, who had a busy day in the office!

Nova's equalizing goal was a rather bizarre 'Ronaldinho' type speculative cross/shot. that flew into the top corner. The camerawoman swears she heard Scott shout "Ave it!" as he struk the ball from well outside the box, but whether deliberate or fluke, it was enough to earn Nova a draw and leave the Dutch to worry about what Geckoes can do against Shane next week.

April 2004


April 25th, Shin Koiwa. Title rests on final match with Sala
Ian Brown-Peterside scored a brace of 2nd half goals to help Swiss overcome Jetro and put them in good position to take the championship. Swiss got off to a good start, Dierk Pagenstert scoring after just 7 minutes. Jetro held on til half time, but 2 more goals midway through the 2nd half were enough to put Swiss within 3 points of Hibs and on the same goal difference. Any win over Sala at Hachioji park on May 15th will give Swiss the first TML Division 1 crown, but anything other than a win will hand it to Hibs.
Full report from Swiss...


A couple of Eigotown members posing with the FJ Cup.

April 24th, Foreign Correspondents Club, Tokyo. FJ Cup draw sees France meet Sala for the 3rd? 4th? time this year.
Another great Eigotown Party was joined for the first time by members of TML, out to enjoy a few brews, network with the host of people there and of course make sure there were no shenanagens with the draw for the first Footy Japan Cup, this year sponsored by Wall Street Associates.
The Eigotown sponsored BFC were the first number to be drawn going into the 5 team group A as seed. With 17 teams that means BFC & others in Group A will have to play 4 matches with still only 2 of the teams progressing.

3 Wise Men? 3 Musketeers? No just 3 slightly drunk TML Refs.

For full details of the groups please click here
1st round matches will take place from mid May until early July then on to the knockout phases.
Barbarians came back from being a goal down to Saitama JETS at Ina on Saturday afternoon, recording a 2-1 win, their first of the season. It was a tale of 2 goalkeepers really, Barbarians had one, whereas JETs didn't, failing to hold on to their 1st half lead, conceding 2 goals to the 10 man opposition in the 2nd half. It's too little, too late for Barbarians as far as the league is concerned, but will have them in good confidence for the FJ Cup where they are in the tough group C with the likes of HIbs.

Celts mounting another attack against Nova at Shigaku.

When the wind blows at Shigaku, it's usually straight down the pitch and strong giving the ability to punt the length of the pitch almost. That's how it was for the Sunday evening meeting of Kanto Celts & Nova FC but whether it assisted either team could be debated as both goals in the 1-1 draw were scored against the wind. Celts took the lead early in the 1st half after some good build up play on the right flank. A nice through ball from midfield was just poked through the advancing keepers legs to make it 1-0. Celts were the better of the 2 teams but the wind assisted clearances from the Nova defence led to some quick counter-attacks.
The 2nd half saw Nova struggling against both Celts and wind to get out of their half. They were under the kosh for long periods and were thankful to some wild shooting that they didn't go further down. It was thanks to an inspired substitution by Nova captain Daniel Bard, that Nova got their equalizer. When Nova got a corner, he changed all his substitutes at once, bringing on all the big guys who'd been keeping warm out of the wind. As planned, the high corner was met by a melee of players including the keeper and somehow ended up in the back of the net (along with said keeper). The ref had seen no foul though, so the goal stood and despite continual pressure from Celts there on, the score remained the same. Both teams have one game remaining.


April 17th, Ina, Saitama. France finish with win
An early start in far off Saitama saw the final match of the season for France & Nelson, deciding which Division Nelson would be playing in from September. They obviously wanted Div 1 by the way they fought in the 1st half, but poor finishing let them down. France went ahead after about 20 mins and held on till the break. In the 2nd half French defender Yannick Bethegnies pounced on a loose ball in the Nelson box after a lot of confusion, firing it in to make it 2-0. A 3rd from Yoshikoshi put the game out of reach for Nelson but they did get a consolation goal near the end. They'll have to work on their finishing next season to try to get back up to Division 1!
In the other match of the day, Dutch Embassy team reclaimed 2nd spot in Division 2 with a 3-2 win over Saitama JETS. The Dutch stormed into a 3-0 lead, but the JETS fought their way back to 3-2 and had it not been for some great goal keeping could easily have equalized. So it goes down to the final game for Dutch and Geckoes to see who'll be promoted to Div 1 next season.

Yasu Yomota fires in what could be the goal that wins the league, should Swiss slip up in either of their remaining 2 games.


April 11th, YC&AC. Whatever happens, Hibernian can say they finished the first season of TML on top of Division 1 on points, but whether they can win outright remains in the hands of the Swiss!
It was a thrilling encounter on a warm spring day, facing league top scorer Graeme Lane & his YC&AC team on their home ground, Hibs put in a solid performance and were worthy of their 1-0 victory.
The first half was very even, both teams playing the ball around well in mid-field but the defences holding strong and not letting much through. The Hibs applied the pressure in the second half though and the YC&AC defence was kept busy. Bevan Colless fired over from close range and Mick O'Hagen had a long range effort clip the bar. At the other end, Joe Takeda broke through only to fire the ball into orbit.
The break came when Yasu Yomota beat his man on the left, cut into the box and drove in his shot at the near post leaving the keeper little hope. YC&AC tried to fight back and looked to have a chance when Lane broke through the Hibs defence. It was the leagues top striker vs the top Keeper, Hitoshi Ono, who'd only let in 2 goals in his 6 previous matches. Both racing to meet the ball just inside the 18 yd box, Lane just got a toe to it first, but the experienced keeper spread himself well blocking both ball & player. That was the last real threat from YC&AC and Hibs were jubilant at the sound of the final whistle. They now have a long month to wait until they find out the final outcome of who are Champions.
more from Hibs...

"Oops, Scuffed that!" Dave Callagan blows his chance of a hat trick as his penalty goes wide if the upright.

and could have had all three if they had held onto the lead - Three times they went ahead against Shane FC and all three times Shane equalized.
Of course the main orchestrator of the Shane recovery was their 'rock' center half 'Dave Callagan, who scored twice but managed to fluff his chance of a hat trick from the penalty spot. Barbarians showed the same grit as they have all season, continuing to fight all the way an they thought it'd paid off when Yusuke Onuma scored his 4th of the season, making it 3-2 with just 10 minutes to go. Once again though, Shane rallied and with only 4 minutes left got the equalizer that would give them a point.
more from Barbarians...

BFC & French Captains, Brian Doyle & Francois Mallet tussle for the ball (Or are they doing some new dance?).


April 10th, YC&AC. BFC ended their TML campaign on a winning note, striker Jon Day scoring twice in a 2-1 victory over France FC.
Things looked set for disaster as the ref got caught in traffic jams & the game had to be started using stand-ins from each team, the French officiating the first 20 mins & BFC till the ref arrived at half-time. This didn't seem to effect the play though and Day scored with a sweetly struck free-kick into the top left corner after 10 minutes, french goalie Elliot having decided to catch the ball outside the area right in front of goal. France almost equalized soon after as Gilles Soulie was put through on goal and calmly slotted home, but the French linesman gave offside. The French pushed hard in the 2nd half mounting increasing attacks but BFC counter-attacked and Day got his second with 15 minutes remaining to give BFC a cushion in an absorbing contest. The French pulled one back with almost the last kick of the game, but overall BFC just about deserved the points. It's now up to Sala in their final match, as to whether it's them or BFC who'll get 4th place in the league. more from BFC...
ROBS LOT GRAB 2ND Legendary all rounder Rob Keyworth, helped inspire his Wall Street Geckoes to hold on for another win and take over second place in Div 2. In the proverbial 'game of two halves', Geckoes dominated from the start against Nova FC and took a commanding 4-0 lead in the 1st half on the small pitch at Hachioji Park. Nova didn't let this kill them off however and came out looking for blood in the 2nd half. It was they that dominated, playing much better football pulling 2 goals back and had it not been some stout defending, could have been more. Angelo silenced Nova though by scoring his 2nd of the afternoon and putting the game out of reach at 5-2. So the pressure is on the Dutch now to catch Geckoes.more from geckoes...


April 4th, OiFuto. 2nd automatic promotion place within grasp with win over JETS.
Two 1st half penalties and a 2nd half sending off were the main features of this battle between Geckoes & JETs luckily spared the rain that cancelled fixtures on other grounds. All the goals came in the 1st half, Jonathan Rodriguez picking up both a goal and yellow card for Geckoes. A 2nd yellow after 50 minutes meant he was only the 2nd player to be sent off in the league. Despite being down to 10 men though, Geckoes held on for the win meaning they are only a point behind 2nd placed Dutch, both with 2 games to play. Either team could claim the remaining place in the 1st Division next year.


Sharpshooter Sami seen firing in a volley during their match with Dutch earlier in the season

April 3rd, Shin koiwa. Sami Benlassoued scored the only goal in Perfidious Albions final match of the 1st season to secure the Div 2 championship.
Albion took advantage of Celts, while they were 3 men short awaiting late-comers, piling on the pressure till finally, Sami picked up the ball in the area and drilled his shot in, off the left hand post. Once the Celts were up to 10 men, it was a much more even battle and there were chances both ways. A speculative volley in the 2nd half by the celts, caught the Albion keeper off his line and he was lucky the rebound off the bar didn't go in when it hit the back of his head. Perfidious held on for the win though and can now look forward to Div 1 football from September. Perhaps they'll even change their names back to the original BEFC (British Embassy FC)

France FC keeper Elliot, tips a long range effort over the bar..

AU REVOIR CAPITAINE!French bid farewell to Faycal with a win.
France FC are losing their charismatic captain, Faycal, who is off to Australia after 7 years in Japan and what better way to see him off than with a win. In Maritizio's last game of the season, they couldn't repeat the form from last week that gave them a win over Jetro. The French dominated the midfield, soon taking the lead. At 3-0 in the 2nd half, the French briefly let their guard down and quick thinking Kuni Hosoi got a goal back with a cheeky lob. It was to be a 2nd win for the French though with a 4th gaol sealing the victory, so Maritizio must wait for the result between France & Nelson to see if they'll be playing 1st division football in September.
Jetro hold Sala to goalless draw In the final fixture of the day, Sala and Jetro played out a 0-0 draw as it got windier & colder at Shin Koiwa. There were few chances at either end with the result being a fair reflection of the match. A major controversy was averted right at the end, as the floodlights were dimmed as Jetro were about to take a free kick from just outside the area. The ref allowed the kick to be taken before blowing the final whistle amid cries of "Ref, I can't see a bloody thing!" The kick missed, but had it gone in.....

BFC striker rounds the keeper for No.2 in their 6-0 win.

BFC stop the rot with 6-0 win
Able at last to field a full-strength team, BFC put their recent troubles behind them with a 6-0 victory over Nelson FC in Welsh mid fielder, Gareth Hughes' farewell game. Evans scored twice -- both headers as BFC dominated from the start, playing some excellent one-touch football on the astroturf pitch. Jon, Alastair, Paul and man of the match Neil also got on the score sheet to give BFC a welcome confidence boost after a poor run of results. Their final match is against France FC next week, while Nelson too must face France in their final game, needing a win to avoid relegation to Div 2 next season. more from BFC...

March 2004

John of Maritizio challenges the Jetro Keeper for a cross.


Mar 28th, OiFuto. Call 911 bar that is, the sponsors of Maritizio as they'll be very pleased with their teams come from behind win over Jetro. It was a far cry from the 8 man team that turned out against YC&AC last week, with some new blood in their ranks, Maritizio were up for the challenge. It was Jetro struck who first though, midway through the 1st half but Maritizio fought back to 1-1 by the break. With more changes at half-time, Maritizio went looking for blood in the 2nd half and soon found themselves in unchartered waters, in the lead, Kenichi Ohki volleying home at the back post after a good cross from the left. It looked as though they would keep it till the end but Jetro had other ideas, scoring an equalizer with just 10 minutes to go. Maritizio kept at it however and with just a minute to go, scored again to notch up their first win and move up to 3rd from bottom.

Dave Thomas celebrates scoring Hibs 1st goal.

Hibs beat BFC 3-0 with a second-half deluge to stay in the hunt for the inaugural TML title on Sunday. After an evenly contested first half, Hibs broke the deadlock 10 minutes after the break, Dave Thomas blasting past BFC goalkeeper Sid with a fierce strike following a well-worked move down the left. BFC striker Jon missed a golden opportunity to equalise five minutes later after good work from Evans. It proved costly as Hibs were awarded a highly questionable penalty (read Liverpool v Marseille!) soon afterwards and Bevan calmly fired home from the spot. A defensive breakdown from the BFC gifted Hibs a third 10 minutes from time to secure the points, Keita Narama firing home his 6th of the campaign. It's all up to the Swiss now, awaiting the rescheduling of their match with Sala. more from BFC...
more from Hibs...

Panic in the Barbarians box as Paul Bacon swings in a free kick.

It will take 2 big wins by the Dutch and a heavy defeat for Perfidious Albion for there to be any other outcome than Albion winning Div 2 this season. Their latest victims were a 10 man Barbarians team, holding up the foot of the table. 2 early goals for Albion and they went to cruise control. The captain decided to start making changes to give everyone a game but while Albion were distracted, Barbarians went on the attack. A crafty free kick curled around the wall was poked in at the back post and suddenly, Barbarians were back in it. After the break however, another quick goal had Albion back in command. Two more goals followed, including a screamer by Tetsuro Sotoike and Albion cruised in with a 5-1 win.


Kaz Matsumoto fires in a shot as YC&AC sink Nelson.

Mar 27th, YC&AC. Another hattrick from captain Graeme Lane sent YC&AC to the top of Div 1 and left Nelson struggling at the bottom. The 1st half was quite even but after 35 minutes, Lane latched onto a loose ball in the box after some nice build up play and tapped it home for 1-0. Nelson hit the bar and were caught offside for another close effort but still trailed at the break.
In the 2nd half, YC&AC turned up the pressure, creating many more chances and soon their scoring machine got back into action. Lane completed his 3rd Hat-trick with a pair of good goals, taking his tally to 13 for the campaign. Fellow striker Kaz Matsumoto got his 4th of the season with another fine strike while Joe Takeda completed the rout.
This sets up a great showdown between YC&AC & Hibs for the Championship.......or 2nd!

In a tough battle at the top of Div 2, Vagabonds turned spoilers as they held the Dutch to a goalless draw leaving them 3 points behind the leaders with only 2 games to go. Vagabonds had the better opening period, pressuring the Dutch defence and creating good chances, going just wide on a couple of occasions. The Dutch midfield gradually took more control but Div 2 top scorer, So Takada, was held at bay by solid defending. In the 2nd half it was a pretty even battle but the Dutch keeper had to pull off a solid stop when Vags new boy James broke through free on goal. This was one of the few clear chances though and both teams seemed satisfied with the draw.

So Takada slots home his 5th of the season to top the chase for the Div 2 golden boot.


Mar 21st, Nodai. The Dutch Embassy team secured a firm grip on 2nd place in Div 2 and a chance of going top should the leaders falter, with a 3-0 win over Shane FC. It was a pretty even battle in the 1st half with few clear chances either way but the game was settled in a 5 minute period, mid way through the 2nd half.
When a Dutch free kick struck the arm of a defender jumping in the wall, kazu awarded a PK that was nicely put away. Soon after the restart, Anli Tan received the ball just outside the shane 18yd box. He deftly turned his defender and smashed a left footed volley into the top left corner. Before Shane could recover from this 2nd blow, the Dutch struck again as a through ball found So Takada who made no mistake as he slid it under the advancing keeper. Shane came close to pulling one back a couple of times but it seemed the strikers had left their shooting boots at home. This leaves Shane with little hope of coming in 2nd but Dutch are well in the running.
Mar 21st, YC&AC. Maritizio turned up with just 8 men to face YC&AC for their Div 1 encounter and were lucky to escape with just a 6-1 defeat. With 2 goals in opening minutes, YC&AC were unable to capitalize and it remained 2-0 till half-time. They upped the scoring in the 2nd half however, with Captain Graeme Lane completing a hat-trick, to take his tally to 10 for the season and Joe Takeda scoring direct from a corner. Maritizio did get a late consolation goal, with a nice header from a corner but with only 8 players, they were no match for a full team. With only 2 matches left for the top 4 teams and 3 points separating them, anything could happen!

Celts get the 'heads up' on Barbarians in their cold, wet encounter.


Mar 20th, OiFuto. It looked more like the old days of football, slipping & sliding in the mud, as for a change OiFuto allowed a match to take place in the rain. It was Celts who came to terms with the conditions first though, with some nice passing through the middle leading to 2 early goals. Barbarians held them for the rest of the half though creating some good chances of their own.
The 2nd half started with Celts straight back on the attack. 3 more goals soon followed, a great curling shot from 25 yards into the top left corner was unstoppable, as was a low drive from similar range. This finished off any chance Barbarians had of getting a result but they didn't let their heads drop and were unlucky not to be awarded a goal late on, with the linesman indicating the ball hadn't crossed the line puddle. No more goals were to come though and Celts climbed 1 place with a comfortable (well cold & wet) win.
more from Barbarians...


Mar 13th, OiFuto, BFC out of running as SALA avenge last years cup final defeat.

Sala FC goal scorer Guido Geisler clears a cross as BFC try in vain to score.

Sala were unlucky not to be ahead in the opening minutes as Brian Galaghers headed goal was deemed offside. He made up for in soon after though when a similar chance allowed him a looping header from the back post, out jumping BFC's Malone, to finish well. BFC applied pressure to the SALA defence to no avail and it was SALA who went further ahead before half-time with another headed goal from a well taken free kick. In the 2nd half, things came to a bit of a boil, with the referee over-ruling the BFC linesman on a few occasions and tempers flared. SALA took advantage of the BFC disarray and scored another from a quick free kick finishing 3-0 winners. This puts them in 3rd place and BFC back in 5th.
more from BFC...


Simon Collier of Perfidious tries to close down JETS Matt Turner as clears the ball.

Mar 6th, OiFuto. It has taken 44 matches for us to see the first red card produced, which is a testament to the sportsmanship and fair play in the league so far. The recipient of the first red card brought it upon himself, for continual verbal abuse of the referee. His team, Saitama JETS were 2-0 down to Perfidious Albion at the time but his continuous vocals earned him 2 yellows in quick succession from Quentin O'Mahony. Perfidious went on to win the match 4-0, with 2 goals from the new brazilian signing Marcio, which almost cements their place in the 1st Division next year.


Bevan Colless sends in Hibs 2nd goal from the penalty spot.

Earlier at OiFuto, Hibs took a 4-0 first half lead against Maritizio and went on to win 5-1. Two goals apiece for Keita Narama and Bevan Colless sealed any doubts as to who would be victors. This result means they stay behind Swiss however, who have scored 6 more goals and have a 1 goal better difference. With only 2 games left each, it will all come down to the final round of matches in May.
At Hachioji Park in Yonohommachi, Geckoes and Vagabonds had the pleasure of playing on a beautiful artificial pitch with probably the nicest surface of any we play on. Unfortunately that didn't help the quality of the football which is probably why it took an own goal to decide the match. Vagabonds had arguably the better chances and possession in the 1st half, but in the 2nd it was Geckoes who were controlling most of the play. An unlucky deflection off the defenders knee from a near post corner settled the scoreline 1-0 in favour of Geckoes, but it was only thanks to a great save by keeper Rob Keyworth that they held onto the lead tid the end. This result puts them above Vagabonds in 3rd position in Div 2.

February 2004


Paddy Foleys packed with over 100 players & supporters on Saturday night, for the Tokyo Metropolis League's 'late' launch party.

Feb 28th, Roppongi, Tokyo.There's a guy works down Yoshinoya swears he's Elvis and he was spotted loitering outside Paddy Foley's on Saturday night after being presumed dead for almost 27 years. Clearly the lure of the formal launch of The Metropolis League had been too much and an impromptu gig from The King capped a rip-snorting evening. TML maestro Sid, and Paco, had of course planned long and hard for the event, which was superbly attended by many of the teams and sponsors involved in the new league. There was also fantastic food, a very amusing video with photos of players in the league 'doing their thing', blue-suede crooning and a raffle, which was only marred by French FC keeper "Elbow" Elliot walking off with about nine of the top prizes, claiming the French were "having dinner upstairs." Tres amusant. Things looked bleak for the Swiss at the start of the raffle but, as always, they sneaked a couple of late goals to win it in stoppage time. Even Elvis was speechless.
Rumours that Kev "The Kit" Gray will play at the TML award ceremony in a similar jet-black wig and winkle-pickers are as yet unconfirmed.
Congratulations must go to Sid and Paco for their tireless work in establishing TML, which has rapidly become THE league to be part of.
By Chip Shop

Feb 28th, OiFuto. A hatrick by Pieter Elbers helped the Dutch move up into 2nd position in the 2nd Division with a game in hand over the teams above and below it. They couldn't have asked for a better start, getting 1-0 up on the Kanto Celts with less than a minute played. Celts drew level after quarter of an hour, but goals 10 minutes either side of halftime, gave the flying Dutchmen a lead they held onto despite Celts pulling another one back.

Feb 29th, YC&AC. Graeme Lane, captain of YC&AC, caught up with Swiss Kickers' Striker Karl Hahne, in the hunt for this years Div 1 golden boot award, with a brace of goals against Jetro FC. In very windy conditions, both teams were having difficulty controlling the ball on the hard dry surface and chances were at a premium. Going in 1-1 at half-time, YC&AC took the game to the opposition in the 2nd half, with most of the play at the Jetro end. 2 more goals by YC&AC were enough to seal it and put them up to 3rd in Div 1 in what was described as ' a workman like performance to grind out a good win!' by their captain.


PENALTY! The appeal is rewarded and Shane go one ahead against Nova FC

Feb 22nd, Oi Futo Dai ichi. Two of Japan's biggest English conversation schools battled it out on the football pitch in front of a crowd of at least 25 (plus a couple of stray dogs) but it was Shane who came away the winners, beating Nova FC 2-0. A goal in each half, the first a penalty, were enough to doom the Nova boys for the 2nd week in row, still missing their captain Daniel Bard. Shane himself was there to cheers his teachers along, very impressed in their performance as they continued to rise in the 2nd Division table.
Earlier in the day, Geckoes got their 2nd win at the expense of Barbarians, who are still searching for their point. This leaves them just a point behind Shane and JETs but with a game in hand.
Sala moved into 3rd place after beating Maritizio. After going 2 down, Maritizio pulled one back and looked confident to go for an equalizer. Sala had other plans however, and they soon found the back of the net again, holding on for a comfortable 3-1 victory that put them right back up the table. more from Sala...


Perfidious Albion (BEFC) bid farewell to Tim Williams after their draw with Vagabonds. Of course with a few more beers!!.

Feb 21st, YC&AC. Perfidious Albion dropped their first league points as they were held to a 0-0 draw by BFC Vagabonds in what was a send off game for long time BEFC player Tim Williams. They were lucky not to be forfieted a point as their bus dropped them off 5 mins before kick off time, many looking a bit bedraggled from the previous nights partying. It was also a match that introduced new referee Pietro Cristo to the TML fold, and a very good job he did as well. Vagabonds had arguably the best of chances, with one 35 yard volley producing a fine save from goalkeeper Giles Lever but at the end of the match , everyone seemed happy with the draw. P.A. are looking set to be promoted to the 1st Division for next season, 6 points clear with just 3 games to play! more from Vagabonds...
At Oi Futo, Swiss Kickers took over top spot in Division 1 by beating Nelson FC 6-0. Swiss got off to a great start, scoring in the opening minutes then went on to score 3 in each half leaving them 3 points clear of Hibernian, who have a game in hand. more from Swiss...


YC&AC keeper gets down to smother a shot from the French.

Feb 15th, YC&AC. YC&AC captain, Graeme Lane led his team to their 2nd Victory with a hattrick against France FC. A super strike in the 1st half, followed by 2 more in the 2nd half was enough to sink the French who only managed to get a consolation goal just before full time. YC&AC with 7 points are still in a great position to challenge for the title with their final game against HIBS looking like it could be a corker...but there's still a long way to go. more...
In the 2nd match of the day, BFC were sent to their first defeat by their arch rivals Swiss Kickers. Both teams were missing many key players, more so Swiss perhaps, but it was BFC who seemed most affected. In a dazzling display of 'hoof the ball' BFC showed why they've been unable to beat the Swiss in the league in over a decade. A goal in each half, the 2nd a cracker by their Dutch midfielder 'Flash', was enough to send BFC to their 1st loss since last October and put Swiss back at the top of the table with Hibs on 12 points. more from BFC... or more from Swiss...


Hibs striker Dave Thomas watches an effort sail over the bar.

Feb 14th, St Mary's. Hibs midfielder Keita Narama found the back of the net for the 4th time this season, helping his team back into Div 1's top spot. Fellow striker Dave Thomas also found the back of the net late in the 2nd half to join Keita in pursuit of the first Golden boot. Hibs didn't have it all their own way though as Nelson pressed hard and went in 1-1 at the break. A quick goal in the 2nd half got Hibs back on track though, leaving them in a prime position to challenge for this years title. more...
Perfidious Albion got their 4th straight win of the League, cementing their position at the top of Division 2. Their opposition, an under strength Nova FC who's captain suffered an unfortunate broken ankle after being run off a pavement by a drunken salaryman last week, started brightly despite their lack of players and looked set to force a draw. But it was one of Perfidious' goalies Keith Crowley, (playing outfield) who scored the winner just minutes from time to give the old 'BEFC' boys the full 3 points.
OiFuto. Following Bolton's exploitation of the new interpretation of the offside rule this week, both Geckoes and the Dutch were subject to some interesting interpretations in their TML fixture. Both teams fell foul of decisions that would lead to long discussions in any league but it was Geckoes who yet again felt the hardest done by as they fell to their 2nd defeat.


French midfielder Naoki Saito, skips past Jim Bryan of Sala in their 3-1 victory

Feb 8th, YC&AC.
France FC finally got the win they've been looking for at the expense of SALA FC, moving them off the bottom of Div 1 for the 1st time this season. Getting off to a great start, they were 2-0 up after only 5 minutes with a couple of well struck shots. With their charismatic captain not there to urge them on, (reportedly scouting for new talent on foreign shores...well sunbathing anyway!) there was always the danger that France may fade away again, as they did against Swiss and Jetro.
A goal soon into the 2nd half eased their worries and sealed the Victory, with Sala getting a consolation goal 10 mins from time. Sala were left to ponder their 2nd loss in 4 games and a meeting with their WM Cup final adversaries, BFC, on the 13th March to look forward to.

BFC forward Tomo, sees his close range shot go over the bar, just 1 of many BFC chances left begging.

BFC blew their chance to go top again, letting YC&AC equalize in the dying moments to grab a point. Although BFC had the lions share of possession, a combination of poor finishing and resolute defending by YC&AC, kept them at bay. Finally (after many previous claims) they were awarded a penalty in the 2nd half, nicely tucked away by Peter Adolphus, but should have wrapped things up when they forged a couple of clear openings in front of goal. BFC's lack of ability in the 6 yard box, wasn't a affliction shared by YC&AC captain Graeme Lane, who nipped in front of the BFC defence in the dying seconds to latch onto a well placed free kick. A quick turn and shot at the near post robbed BFC of 2 points and left YC&AC in good position to challenge for the title still.

Swiss striker, David Pratt, rises to meet a corner. He scored 2 in their 7-4 victory over Maritizio.

Swiss Kickers recovered from their defeat last week, but conceded another 3 goals on their way to beating Maritizio. German striker Karl Hahne has his eyes on the Div 1 golden boot, scoring 4 in their victory and taking his tally to 6. It was not all one way traffic, as Maritizio put Swiss under pressure on a number of occasions, exploiting the weakness in the Swiss team from so many missing players. With games fixed far in advance, it's good to see that all teams suffer the same problems as missing players etc, no teams getting an advantage! Swiss will still be one of the favourites though!! more...
SHANE FINALLY GET GUNS BLAZING Sundays game at Nodai in Saitama produced the TML result of the day, with lowly Shane FC handing out a footballing lesson to an under performing Vagabonds side, which had previously boasted 7 points from it's opening 3 matches. Shane FC was clearly up for the game and was very organized and focused on the task at hand and began swiftly to take the sluggish Vagabonds apart. Sloppy play and poor organization led to Shane taking a 0-4 lead into half time. The Vagabonds, clearly shell shocked, simply had no answer to the onslaught and went on to concede a further 4 goals with the match ending 0-8. more...
In the other match of the day, JETs handed Celts their 2nd defeat in another high scoring match at Nodai. This puts JETs into 2nd place now, but with 2 teams only having played twice, things are wide open. more...


Feb 1st, OiFuto Daini. Kanto Celts got the call Liverpool were screaming for the night before but never got. "Was it ball to hand, or hand to ball?" Kazu had no doubt as the hapless Shane defender went in the book, and the ball in the goal from the penalty spot. Playing on the astro-turf (read that Asteroid rock) pitch at OiFuto, both ref and players alike were often left confused since chalk lines drawn on the pitch for American Football & futsal, hadn't been removed, This left the ground looking like some ancient Andean, Alien landing site from Chariots of the Gods.
Kanto Celts went on to win the game, but despite missing a 2nd half penalty, Shane did manage to get their 1st league goal through captain Neil Willis. more...
Sala got their 2nd win of the campaign with a narrow 2-1 win over Nelson. Had the outcome of the game been different, a controversial moment where a Sala goal was disallowed as the keeper was down injured, could have sparked problems. In the end though, young Brookey, who'd been unlucky not to be credited with last weeks goal, scored one this week in their 2-1 victory.

January 2004


Jan 31st, YC&AC. Swiss Kickers were sent to their first league defeat in 3 years by new boys YC&AC. Recovering well from last weeks unlucky defeat to Sala, YC&AC took advantage of the Swiss' depleted squad going into a 4-1 lead, before letting in a soft goal just before the end. At the same time at St. Mary's, Hibernian really went to town on Jetro FC, beating them 5-0 to go back to the top of the table.

OiFuto Daiichi In Division 2, Perfidious Albion maintained their 100% record by coming back from a goal down to the Dutch and winning 2-1. The Dutch looked very lively from the start, soon going up with Albion not seeming to find their form. It wasn't till the 2nd half and the introduction of veteran Simon Woolhouse that the tables turned. The Dutch defence seemed to lose their bearings as the Albion forwards harried them into giving away a couple of goals from nothing. BFC Vagabonds kept the pressure on Albion though, as they held on for an undeserved 1-0 victory over Barbarians. With both teams hitting the post and bar (not necessarily from the opposition!) the game see-sawed from end to end but it was the Barbarians who were most organized, mounting countless attacks. A combination of good defending and lack of finishing meant the game was decided in the 1st half, by a Vagabonds free kick, tucked inside the bottom left corner. more...


Jan 25th, YC&AC. Both the 1st & 2nd teams of YC&AC. got a rude introduction to the TML, losing 1-0 & 2-0 respectively. The 2nd team, not in the TML this year, had a 'friendly' with Geckoes from Div 2, to get a feel for the league they plan to join next season. The Geckoes were in no mood to show any mercy though. Big Rob, leading the geckoes from an unusual role as goalkeeper, was determined to keep a clean sheet and even Simon Jelfs rose to the occasion, heading home their 2nd.
In the main match, between SALA FC & YC&AC 1st team, it was a tough match from the word go. As expected the mid-field battle was very intense but SALA should have taken the lead when striker Giles Legg was given a free header in the 6 yard box, only to see the keeper pull off a great reflex save.
Despite being a bit hungover, with a manager exuding pure alcohol fumes, SALA got their break in the 2nd half when Brooke-Smith curled in a probing free-kick that was just tipped over the outstretched arms of the keeper by unlucky YC&AC centre back Steve Taw. It was a tough introduction to the league for YC&AC, who till now, never played in an International league in Japan.


The Dutch swing in a free kick in their match against Barbarians at YC&AC

Jan 24th, YC&AC. The first TML match to be played on YC&AC's grass pitch, also saw the Dutch Embassy team finally get their first game in the league. They made quick work of scoring their first goal too, putting one in within the opening minutes. Goal scorer, So Takada, went on to become the first Hat-trick scorer of the league, calmly putting away a couple of penalties later to win the match 3-2.
Barbarians weren't an easy nut to crack though, with the game going end to end. The Dutch Keeper pulled off a fantastic penalty save in the 1st half while at the other end they had a free kick hit the bar. For more from
Ina Saitama The 8-man NOVA team, heavily hit by flu, gave the Saitama Jets an early scare by going into a 1-0 lead at Ina. The JETS finally found their shooting boots, scoring their first goals in the TML as they raced into a 4-1 lead. The goals included a goal straight from a corner kick, which NOVA were convinced did not cross the line. Dave Campbell, after scoring his first JETS goal for around 3 years, then tried to even things up by carefully placing the ball past his own keeper near the end to make it 4-2.(rep by G Garner) more...
St Mary's Afternoon action saw BFC meet Div 1 leaders Jetro FC in only their 2nd ever meeting. In a game played mainly in the midfield, the chances at either end were sparse. Peter 'juice' Adolphus produced the most exciting moment of the match with a bicycle kick only clearing the bar by millimeters. BFC's captain, Brian Doyle, proved the inspiration for both goals, the 2nd when he was knocked to the ground by an over zealous Jetro defender, protecting his keeper but giving away a penalty instead. The 2-0 scoreline puts BFC back on top of the table. more...
France FC must be wondering what they have to do to gain a point. This time they put up a great 1st half battle against the Hibs, unlucky not to go ahead - Hibs saved by their great keeper, Hitoshi Ono, and the woodwork. With Dave Thomas on the prowl up front for Hibs though, you must be wary at the back as France found out in the 2nd half. Dave's first time shot as he latched onto a through ball gave Elliot, the french goalie, no chance. Unable to reply, the French were sent to their 3rd defeat in a row, while the Hibs join 3 others on 6 points at the top of the table. French report......Hibs


Jan 17th, St Mary's. Hibernian couldn't take advantage of an early goal, and their best chance in recent times, to beat a Swiss Kickers team missing their top strikers. A couple of blunders allowed Swiss to take the lead and despite consistent heavy pressure from Hibernian, they managed to cling on to go top of the table.
Swiss report...
France FC also blew a 2 goal lead, with a 2nd half collapse against Jetro FC who join Swiss at the top. In similar fashion to last weeks game against the Swiss, after putting up a fine display in the 1st half, they allowed Jetro to steal a goal just before the break. In the 2nd half, poor marking was punished by the speedy Jetro players as they put away another 3.
In a game with 3 penalties and the start of a blizzard, Nova held Vagabonds to a 3-3 draw. There was a lot of shouting about the dubiousness of a couple of the calls, but they cancelled one another out as the game came down to defensive errors more than striking prowess. On and off snow showers continued during the day, and there were 2 more draws, Maritizio v Nelson and JETs v Shane.
Geckoes vs Perfidious Albion turned into an epic battle. Blood started to boil as Geckoes felt the refs decisions were going against them and the more they complained, the worse it seemed to get. With Kazu seeming to have left part of his brain behind along with his flags that morning, Geckoes felt they were the ones being hard done by, while Albion just kept their mouthes shut and got on with the task in hand. in a tight game that could have gone either way, it came down to a couple of defensive errors to let Albion score 3 times again, to go to the top of the Division 2 table. Funny how these Perfidious Boys bear more resemblance to BEFC of old, we'll have to talk about a name change for next season perhaps.


Jan 11th, OiFuto DaiNi. Both of the BFC teams started their campaigns brightly, with Maritizio being overpowered 5-0 in Division 1 by a BFC squad, showing the same good form, that won them the World Motors Cup in December. JETs were unable to field a strong squad and were punished by a solid looking BFC Vagabonds 5-0, shooting Vags strait into pole position in Division 2. Wall Street Geckoes surprised the Kanto Celts in the opening minutes of their match, scoring the fastest goal of the league so far then going on to win. Geckoes report & pics...
The new PUMA balls came to the rescue of Perfidious Albion, as Shane FC striker, James knight, saw his perfect lob of the keeper, hit the hard astroturf and bounce clear over the bar. This allowed Albion to regroup and go on to win the match comfortably. Other winners were Jetro who out played Nelson FC and Nova FC who just scraped past Barbarians as the wind really picked up on a chilly winters evening.
The first round of the TML went off very smoothly thanks to all the help from the referees and managers. Things are shaping up for an exciting season.


Jan 10th, St Mary's. Both Hibernian and Swiss got off to perfect starts as they beat Sala & France FC respectively. The opening match of the TML was a great battle between Sala and Hibs, 2 fierce rivals. After a pretty even 1st quarter, Hibs opened the scoring through Keita Narama, who went on to score another in their 3-0 victory. Sala were sorely missing a couple of players still away for New Year break.
France vs Swiss was another tough battle, with France having the best chances in the 1st half, hitting the bar twice. It was a different story in the 2nd half though, as Swiss seemed to overwhelm the French scoring 5 with just 1 in reply. More... or the French report
Swiss Kickers Sponsor Bernd was looking pleased on the touch line, with the Swiss proudly wearing their new German strip provided by Bernd's Bar. It was also good to see Neil Day from our sponsor PADDY FOLEYS there to cheer his team Hibernian along. We hope you'll see more of Neil and our many other sponsors, by taking advantage of the many DISOUNTS offered by them to card carrying members of TML.


Jan 9th, Tokyo. The league was almost thrown into turmoil, before it even started, when Fatboys FC (a.k.a. British School dads) decided to pull out of the league Friday. Citing a lack of commitment from the players, the manager decided to pull out now rather than cause a bigger problem further down the line. With nothing to be done about this weekend, TML is having to now rethink the schedule for the coming weeks, something we'd hoped was fixed already. Well, these are the teething problems with a new league, we hope all teams will try to be flexible to accommodate this new challenge.


Dec 25th, Tokyo. A merry Christmas from PUMA means new balls for the new league.
PUMA, the major sports manufacturer, have shown their backing to Tokyo Metropolis league, by agreeing to supply the league with match balls. They will also give prizes for awards such as golden boot amongst others. Puma have supported other amateur competitions, like the Copa Chile, for many years and they are excited about this new project. We look forward to kicking off the league with PUMA balls, on January 10th.


Dec 5th, Tokyo. Grounds finally sorted, Schedule set for rounds 1-4.
The TML is all set to kick off it's 1st round of matches on the weekend of Jan 10th & 11th at St. Marys and OiFuto Dai Ni. The 1st round of matches is as follows:

  • Div 1: Hibs FC vs SALA FC, Swiss FC vs France FC, Jetro FC vs Nelson FC, Maritizio FC vs BFC
  • Div 2: Nova FC vs Barbarians FC, Dutch Embassy vs Fat Boys FC, Perfidious Albion vs Shane FC, Geckoes vs Celts, JET's vs Vagabonds

Rounds 2, 3 & 4 will be completed by the end of February, with an aim to finishing the 1st season by June. We can then have the 2nd Season running for the full term between End of August 04 to May 05 with 10 teams in the 1st division playing each other twice and 14 teams in the 2nd Division playing each other once.


Nov 15th, Tokyo. Last minute rush means 19 teams to start.
Finally, the registration for Metropolis League has closed, with more teams than expected joining. Although we had been planning to have 2 leagues of 6 or 8 teams, that will have to be changed to 9 & 10 thanks to a few late entries. The split for the 2 Divisions should be quite a logical choice but has yet to be decided.
BFC, Swiss, Hibs, France, YC&AC, Sala FC, Kanto Celts, BEFC, Maritizio, JET's, Geckoes, Jetro, Vagabonds, Shane FC, Barbarians, Nelson FC(JP Morgan), Nova FC, Dutch Embassy, Fatboys.
With teams still trying to complete their matches in other leagues and cups, christmas & New Year, it now appears best to start the league in the New Year. We hope to have a small New Year 7 a side tourney to kick things off and then go from there.


19th Oct, Ueno Gakuin.
The biggest Highland Games 5-a-side soccer tournament to date, saw 21 teams turn up to play football on a beautiful, sunny day. Last years champions, KFC hit trouble from the start, losing their captain, Kirk and a striker with injuries in the opening matches. Newcomers Shane FC put in a good performance as did the British Embassy but the team of the day were SALA FC. After 2 wins & 2 draws in the league games, they seemed to rally for the semi's & Finals eventually beating KFC 3-1 for the cup.
A late drop-out by the French in the masters competition, meant one group only had three teams. This didn't stop the old boys having a good day out though, with many of the teams showing they still had what it takes on the field. British School Dads had a pretty easy run through the league, but couldn't score past BFC Masters until a penalty shoot out in the semi-finals. Local team Yamai FC were there opponents in the finals but with a 3-0 win, the Brit dads came out on top.
For all the results, please

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