VISSEL KOBE

Club History

1997

1st Year in J.League and Fair Play Award

The first year in the highly competitive J.League was tough and lessons were learnt.
Despite all the challenges, the devotion of the squad won the support of football fans and took the first-ever J.League Fair Play Award.
Vissel Kobe also saw goalkeeper Ishizue, defender Watanabe, and striker Nagashima make their debuts in the All-Star match.
At the end of the season, Kobe bid farewell to Stuart Baxter, the mastermind behind the team's promotion to the J.League.
After a crushing defeat in the opening match against Kashima - despite a goal by Swiss midfielder Thomas Bickel, Akihiro Nagashima handed Vissel Kobe their first J1 victory with a goal in the second game.
Stuart Baxter served three years with the club and helped the team win the first J.League Fair Play Award before moving on to a new challenge in Sweden.
Close to being J.League top scorer, Nagashima also won the individual Fair Play Award.

Highlights

  • 12 Apr
    1997 J.League kicks off (17 teams)
  • 19 Jul
    Vissel finish 14th (6 wins, 10 losses) in 1st stage
  • 4 Oct
    Vissel finish 17th (3 wins, 13 losses) in 2nd stage
  • 4 Oct
    Win first J.League Fair Play Award (24 points)
  • Dec
    Under the partnership of caretaker manager Hiroshi Kato and coach Jan Jonsson, lose to Kashiwa Reysol in 77th Emperor's Cup (4th round)

Season Statistics

  • J.League
    16th (9 wins, 23 losses / Pts.24 GF 43 GA 78)
  • Top Scorer Of The Team
    Akihiro Nagashima 22 goals
  • League Cup
    4th in group league, not qualifying for the tournament
  • The 77th Emperor's Cup
    Reach 4th Round

The Squad

Manager

  • Stuart Baxter(ENG)

GK

  • Ryuji Ishizue
  • Masamitsu Kanemoto
  • Norihiro Fukunishi
  • Lee Stuart Baxter(ENG)

DF

  • Hiroshi Matsuda
  • Cho Kwi-Jea(KOR)
  • Hiroki Azuma
  • Masahiro Wada
  • Kotaro Nakao
  • Masakazu Koda
  • Shinichi Ohashi
  • Naoki Mori
  • Yoichi Kajiyama
  • Tomohiro Yoshimura
  • Keiji Kaimoto
  • Yasuo Sakai
  • Konno Yoshiharu

MF

  • Shigemitsu Egawa
  • Michael LAUDRUP(DEN)
  • Michihiro Tsuruta
  • Thomas BICKEL(SUI)
  • Masaki Tsukano
  • Jun Naito
  • Kei Kinoshita
  • Koji Okamoto
  • Seiji Hada
  • Tamio Harakawa
  • Jan JONSSON(SWE)
  • Masaki Hirano

FW

  • Tlemcani Ahmed ZIAD(TUN)
  • Takuya Jinno
  • Akihiro Nagashima
  • Shinichi Kawano
  • Tomonao Okada
  • Jun Iwashita
  • Takashi Uemura
  • Yoshiaki Matsuda
  • Naoyuki Kitabori
  • Yoshihiko Matsuoka
  • Yuichi Yoda
  • Tomoji Eguchi