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 are a Japanese professional football (soccer) club, currently playing in the J-league Division 2. The team is located in Hiratsuka, in the west of Kanagawa Prefecturemarker; their home stadium is Hiratsuka Athletics Stadiummarker in Hiratsuka. The name Bellmare is derived from the Latin "bellum" for "beautiful" and "mare" for "marine". Shonan refers to an area that includes Hiratsuka.


History

Early years as corporate team

The club was founded in 1968 as Towa Estate Development S.C. in Tochigi citymarker. They were promoted to the Japan Soccer League (JSL) Division 1 in 1972. They changed their name to Fujita Kogyo S.C. when Towa Estate Development gave up the ownership to their parent company Fujita Kogyo, which moved the club to Hiratsuka.

They won the JSL three times (including two double with the Emperor's Cup) between 1977 and 1981. They were nevertheless relegated to the JSL's Division 2 in 1990. Although they won the last JSL Division 2 season in 1991-92, the professionalization and formation of the J. League meant they did not meet the new top flight league's criteria and the runner-ups, Kashima Antlers (formerly Sumitomo), were promoted instead.

1993 (JFL)

In 1993, they adopted new name Shonan Bellmare. Their application to the J. League Associate membership was accepted. They played in the former Japan Football League Division 1 and won the league championship. After Hiratsuka City Council committed to finance the refurbishment of the Hiratsuka Stadium to meet the J. League requirements, J. League accepted the club.

1994 - 1997 (Golden era)

logo
The club was forced to change their name to Bellmare Hiratsuka because J. League required the participants to designate only one city or town as their hometown and include its name in the club names at that time. The club initially struggled to cope with the J. League opponents and finished 11th out of 12 in the first stage of the 1994 season. However, they came back in the second stage and finished 2nd. With this momentum, the club won the 1994-1995 Emperor's Cup. This title qualified Bellmare for the 1996 Asian Cup Winners Cup, which they won by beating Iraq's Al Talaba in the final. Hidetoshi Nakata joined the team in 1995 and they also successfully recruited Brazilian-born Wagner Lopes and influential Korean international Hong Myung-Bo. This is arguably the most successful period of the club.

1998 - 1999 (Difficult period)

Four Bellmare players were selected for the 1998 FIFA World Cup. They were Nakata, Lopes, Hong and a goalkeeper Nobuyuki Kojima. However, as Nakata left for Italian club Perugia just after the World Cup, the club's fortune started to decline. The main sponsor Fujita decided to discontinue the financial support in 1999 due to their own financial difficulties. It forced the club to release some highly paid players including Lopes, Hong and Kojima. They finished bottom of J1 in 1999 and were relegated to J2.

2000 - Present (J2)

The club made a new start. The ownership was transferred to a community-owned organisation. They also changed their name to Shonan Bellmare as J. League allowed them to enlarge their designated hometowns to include several cities and towns surrounding Hiratsuka. The club's performance on the pitch has not been strong and they have not been serious contenders for the promotion to J1 so far.

A J1 comeback in 2010, if they are able to achieve promotion, will be the first without Fujita as their sponsor. Although for a time they refused to consider their history as the championship-winning Fujita corporate team in their current history, this year they celebrated the club's 40-year anniversary in 2009 as deduced from the badge in their Web site.

Season by season results

Year League Played Point Win Loss Draw Place Manager General Manager
1992 Old JFL Div. 1 18 31 9 5 4 3 Mitsuru Komaeda

1993 18 16 2 Champions

1994 J. 1st stage 22 7 15 11
J. 2nd stage 22 16 6 2

1995 J. 1st stage 26 43 14 12 7
J. 2nd stage 26 22 7 19 14 Mitsuru Komaeda/ Shigeharu Ueki

1996 J 30 36 12 18 11 Toninho Moura/ Shigeharu Ueki

1997 J. 1st stage 16 28 11 5 4 Shigeharu Ueki
J. 2nd stage 16 21 8 8 9

1998 J. 1st stage 17 20 8 9 11
J. 2nd stage 17 22 8 9 12

1999 J1 1st stage 15 9 3 12 0 16 Eiji Ueda
J1 2nd stage 15 4 1 13 1 16 Mitsuru Komaeda

2000 J2 40 43 15 24 1 8 Hisashi Kato

2001 44 60 20 20 4 8 Koji Tanaka

2002 44 64 16 12 16 5

2003 44 44 11 22 11 10 Mohamed Samir/ Matsuichi Yamada

2004 44 36 7 22 15 10 Matsuichi Yamada/ Tatsuya Mochizuki/ Eiji Ueda

2005 44 54 13 16 15 7 Eiji Ueda

2006 48 49 13 25 10 11 Eiji Ueda / Masaaki Kanno

2007 48 77 23 17 8 6 Masaaki Kanno

2008 42 65 19 15 8 5



Titles

Towa / Fujita



Bellmare Hiratsuka / Shonan Bellmare



League history

  • Kanto Football League: 1970 - 1971
  • Division 1 (Japan Soccer League Div. 1): 1972 - 1989 (1972 - 1974 as Towa Real Estate Development; 1975 - 1989 as Fujita Industries)
  • Division 2 (Japan Soccer League Div. 2): 1990 - 1991 (as Fujita Industries)
  • Division 2 (Japan Football League Div. 1): 1992 - 1993 (as Fujita Industries)
  • Division 1 (J. League Div. 1): 1994 - 1999 (as Bellmare Hiratsuka)
  • Division 2 (J. League Div. 2): 2000 - present (as Shonan Bellmare)


Current players

As of August 31, 2009

Out on loan

Former players







Worldcup players

World Cup 1998

External links






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