Last season, Sagan Tosu finished 8th in the league. In the J-League Cup, they went out in the group stage with only one win against Ventforet Kofu(relegated to J2 at the end of the season). In Emperors Cup they managed to win 3-0 against Matsue City FC(Chugoku Soccer League, 5th tier league), but in the next round, they lost 1-2 to the J2 team, Matsumoto Yamaga.
Sagan Tosu went to a 23 days long training camp to Yomitan, Okinawa, and played three friendly games against FC Ryukyu (2-2), Vegalta Sendai (2-3), and Tokyo Verdy (1-2). Apart from Akahoshi, who sustained a shoulder injury at the start of the training camp as well as Cho Dong-Geon, who is still recovering after the injury last season, all players participated in the pre-season matches. Their coach, Massimo Ficcadenti, said he is happy with the work they have done at the camp and that these results should not be taken too seriously.
Ambitions of the club have not significantly changed compared to the last season as Sagan Tosu’s main aim for the upcoming season will be to stay in J1, which should not be a tough challenge to overcome. Apart from strengthening their midfield with Takahashi(from FC Tokyo) and Harakawa(from Kawasaki Frontale), they have been rather quiet in the transfer window and may lack some quality to fight for higher ranking in the league.
Sagan Tosu’s main aim for the upcoming season will be to remain in the J-League, which, as I mentioned before, should not be much of a challenge. They were not very active during the transfer window and apart from Toyoda, who decide to leave Japan and join a South Korean team, Ulsan Hyundai, they have not made any radical changes in their squad. Anyway, they look strong enough to separate themselves from the relegation teams, but on the other hand, they don’t exactly have the quality to compete with the top teams. They will look to finish somewhere in the middle of the leaderboard, which is quite a realistic target given the quality of the team.
J-League: 9th-11th place