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 is a football (soccer) club that plays in J. League. On February 1, 2005, the club changed its name from JEF United Ichihara to the current name after Chiba city had joined Ichihara, Chibamarker as its hometown in 2003. The club name, JEF -taken from JR East and Furukawa Electric- and United, represents the unity of the team and its home town. The club is also known as   or  . JEF are one of only six teams to have competed in Japan's top flight of football every year since its inception in 1993.


History

The team began as the company team, in 1946. As the company team, it won the Japan Soccer League twice, the Emperor's Cup four times and the JSL League Cup three times. Furukawa also won the 1986/87 Asia Club Championship, the top club honor in Asia; they were the first Japanese club to do so.

Since the league's inception in 1965, the team had always played in the top flight in Japan and was the only Japanese team to never be relegated from the JSL1, a record they kept into the J1 years. They did finish the 1978 season in a relegation position (last of 10) but stayed up after beating Honda F.C. 1-0 on aggregate in a two-legged playoff. The last place was not automatically relegated until the 1980 season.

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In 1991, it merged with the JR East's company team to become and rebranded itself as JEF United Ichihara upon the J. League's founding in 1993. The team initially built itself around the former Germany national football team player Pierre Littbarski.

From 1998 to 2000, the team struggled to stay in the J1 league and it began a series of efforts to be a competitive team. Since the hiring of Ivica Osim in 2003, JEF United has contended for the league title each year despite limited resources and struggling attendance.

On July 16, 2006, Osim left the team to take over the coach of the Japan national team and was succeeded by Amar Osim, his son and assistant coach.[95727]. On December 5, 2007, it was announced that Osim had been sacked after the club's lowly 13th place finish in the 2007 season.[95728]

After 13 games in the 2008 season Josip Kuže was sacked as team manager. On 8 May 2008 it was announced that the new manager was Alex Miller. Miller was First Team Coach at Liverpool FC alongside Rafael Benítez prior to joining JEF United.

On May 13, 2008, JEF United Chiba were linked with a move for Michael Owen whose contract renewal talks at Newcastle United FC have broken down because of a pay cut.

Furukawa Electric is no longer the main sponsor of the club, a job these days taken over by Fuji Electric.

On November 8, 2009, JEF United Chiba was relegated to J2 after 44 seasons in the Japanese top division; 2010 will be their first season in the second tier.

Stadiums

It had played its home matches at Ichihara Seaside Stadiummarker, but has since moved to the larger, football-specific and more conveniently located Fukuda Denshi Arenamarker, which opened in Chiba during the 2005 season. The club had initially practiced at Urayasu, Chiba planning to base itself in Narashino, Chiba before opposition by those living around Akitsu Stadium forced it to be based in Ichihara. Since 2000, training has been held at Footpark Anesaki in Ichihara.

Affiliated clubs

Furukawa Electric Chiba

This was JEF's reserve team during the JSL years. They were formed in 1967 and were first promoted to the JSL Second Division in 1975. They still exist, although they are no longer affiliated on paper, and play in the Kanto Regional League. In 2008 they renamed themselves S.A.I. Ichihara

JEF United Ichihara Chiba B

JEF's current reserve team plays in the Japan Football League, the current third tier of Japanese football.

Team Record

J.League

Season League Place GP Pts Win Draw Lose Average Crowd
1993 J1 1st stage 5 / 10 18 - 9 - 9 20,273
J1 2nd stage 9 / 10 18 - 5 - 13
J1 Total 8 / 10 36 - 14 - 22
1994 J1 1st stage 6 / 12 22 - 10 - 12 22,262
J1 2nd stage 9 / 12 22 - 9 - 13
J1 Total 9 / 12 44 - 19 - 25
1995 J1 1st stage 6 / 14 26 45 14 - 12 15,418
J1 2nd stage 7 / 14 26 43 14 - 12
J1 Total 5 / 14 52 88 28 - 24
1996 J1 9 / 16 30 40 13 - 17 12,008
1997 J1 1st stage 15 / 17 16 13 5 - 11 5,693
J1 2nd stage 14 / 17 16 15 6 - 10
J1 Total 13 / 17 32 28 11 - 21
1998 J1 1st stage 11 / 18 17 21 7 - 10 5,365
J1 2nd stage 18 / 18 17 4 2 - 15
J1 Total 16 / 18 34 25 9 - 25
1999 J1 1st stage 15 / 16 15 12 4 2 9 5,774
J1 2nd stage 11 / 16 15 16 6 0 9
J1 Total 13 / 16 30 28 10 2 18
2000 J1 1st stage 11 / 16 15 19 6 1 8 6,338
J1 2nd stage 16 / 16 15 9 3 1 11
J1 Total 14 / 16 30 28 9 2 19
2001 J1 1st stage Runners-up / 16 15 27 10 0 5 7,818
J1 2nd stage 5 / 16 15 23 7 2 6
J1 Total 3 / 16 30 50 17 2 11
2002 J1 1st stage 8 / 16 15 23 7 3 5 7,897
J1 2nd stage 11 / 16 15 18 6 0 9
J1 Total 7 / 16 30 41 13 3 14
2003 J1 1st stage 3 / 16 15 27 8 3 4 9,709
J1 2nd stage Runners-up / 16 15 26 7 5 3
J1 Total 3 / 16 30 53 15 8 7
2004 J1 1st stage 7 / 16 15 22 5 7 3 10,012
J1 2nd stage Runners-up / 16 15 28 8 4 3
J1 Total 4 / 16 30 50 13 11 6
2005 J1 4 / 18 34 59 16 11 7 9,535
2006 J1 11 / 18 34 44 13 5 16 13,393
2007 J1 13 / 18 34 42 12 6 16 14,149
2008 J1 15 / 18 34 38 10 8 16 14,084


Other Domestic Competitions

See other domestic competitions record

Major International Competitions

Season Competition Result Average Crowd
2006 A3 Champions Cup 3rd -


Titles

Furukawa Electric FC



JEF United Ichihara / JEF United Ichihara Chiba



Players

Current Squad

As of June 28, 2009

Out on loan

Notable Players







Managers

Manager Nat. Tenure
Yoshikazu Nagai 1992-1994
Eijyun Kiyokumo 1994-1995
Yasuhiko Okudera 1996
Jan Versleijen 1997-1998
Gert Engels 1999
Nicolae Zamfir 1999-2000
Zdenko Verdenik 2000-2001
Jozef Vengloš 2002
Ivica Osim 2003-2006
Amar Osim 2006-2007
Josip Kuže 2008
Alex Miller 2008-2009
Atsuhiko Ejiri 2009-


External links






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