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Saturday, March 6, 2010
2010 J. LEAGUE PREVIEW
Team-by-team previews of the 18 teams competing in the first division.
Last season: second
After suffering so much heartbreak last year, Frontale must be starting to think their first piece of major silverware is never coming.
Manager Takashi Sekizuka was certainly despondent enough to fall on his sword after missing out on the league title on the final day, but he may have been a little hasty considering the players at his disposal and the superb performances they gave over the course of the campaign.
Fortunately Sekizuka's replacement, Tsutomu Takahata, should slip straight into the groove having filled in during his predecessor's illness-enforced absence in 2008, when he proved his commitment to the fast attacking style Frontale know so well.
New signing Junichi Inamoto should provide more stability to play that way, and the club will also hope the veteran's experience can help his teammates overcome the psychological barrier that has prevented them from making the breakthrough.
Takanobu Komiyama is another excellent addition, and he joins a group of players whose quality is not in question. Their ability to start a season strongly, win ugly and get the job done when the pressure is on, however, is.
If Frontale can do all these things, then maybe, just maybe, this could be their year.