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Friday, March 5, 2010


Shonan Bellmare

Staff writer

Team-by-team previews of the 18 teams competing in the first division.

Last season: third in J2

As the last team to clinch promotion last season, Shonan starts the new campaign as the automatic favorite to go back down first.

Bellmare pipped Ventforet Kofu for the third and final spot by a single point, and should really have wrapped things up long before the final day after maneuvering themselves into a good position earlier in the season.

Yasuharu Sorimachi's side will certainly have to step up a level to stand any chance of surviving, but the waters have been clouded by 11 players leaving and 11 arriving over the offseason.

Among those incoming are Tatsunori Arai from JEF United Chiba and Kenji Baba from Vissel Kobe, but it will be stalwarts such as Yoshito Terakawa and Yuzo Tamura who continue to form the backbone of the side.

Previews continued:

Yokohama F. Marinos

Jubilo Iwata

Kyoto Sanga

Omiya Ardija

Vissel Kobe

Montedio Yamagata

Vegalta Sendai

Cerezo Osaka

Shonan Bellmare

Kashima Antlers

Kawasaki Frontale

Gamba Osaka

Sanfrecce Hiroshima

FC Tokyo

Urawa Reds

Shimizu S-Pulse

Albirex Niigata

Nagoya Grampus

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