Vegalta Sendai are a bit anonymous in J1. They don’t challenge for honours, but always do enough to see them clear of the relegation spaces and their Yurtec stadium is one of the most atmospheric places in the J.League when full & jumping.
To learn a bit more about Vegalta in 2017, Regista turned to @maimaidenden – someone who is familiar to all who follow the J.League on Twitter. He is the source of lots of transfer information (just search the #jtransfer hashtag) and he also gives information out about Asian football in Japanese. His site – Viva Asian Football – can be found at https://maimaidenden.wordpress.com/
We asked him to take us through what is happening with the players that are tasked with establishing Sendai as a force in J1. This is what he told us:
What do you think about Crislan? Wilson was a hero to Sendai supporters, but how has Crislan played so far?
We think Crislan has been a good striker so far. Our legendary striker Wilson was a “moving striker”, but Crislan is more of a “box striker”. I think he fits better into our new footballing style than Wilson.
However, Crislan is only on loan at Sendai from parent club with Braga, so we’re anxious about his future. Because he has great skill and is good enough to play as a “big club player”…
Daniel Schmidt became 1st team goalkeeper after Sendai lost 7-0 (!) at Urawa. Schmidt was excellent for Matsumoto Yamaga last season in J2, how has he been for Vegalta?
Hmm…. I think Kentaro Seki is better than Schmidt. But Seki’s height is only 177cm. So It’s hard for him to play J1 League.
Absolutely, Schmidt is tall (a really tall man!). However, his play looks like a young player. I think he has to get used to J1’s speed, but we’re sure he’ll be an outstanding GK in our country.
Ryang Yong Gi, Shingo Tomita, Naoki Sugai & Naoki Ishihara are all getting older, but who are the good young players in Sendai ?
We have many skillful young players. Among them, we expect Takumi Sasaki to be “our future” ! He was born in Sendai, and played for Vegalta Sendai Junior, Vegalta Sendai Junior Youth, and Vegalta Sendai Youth. He was selected to Japan U-20 national team. Although he’s small (165cm), many Sendai fans are looking forward to watching his career progress (hopefully to glory!).
How do you think Vegalta will do in 2017? Do you think they will stay in J1?
We were a defensive team for a long time. But we changed to a new, possession style two years ago. Now, we need more time to complete our new style. So we think Sendai can’t win J1 champ, and take part in ACL 2018.
However, Crislan and many young players help us to be a good team. I’m sure we’ll stay J1 and be a champ of J1 after 3 or 4 years !