16th November (Sat)

A late Saturday kick off against a traditional but not recent rival. Back in ye old days (the time of Keith), BEFC and BFC were the same club. Due to a lack of Embassy support BEFC folded and the remaining players formed BFC, which calls itself the oldest foreign football club in Tokyo (debatable). When BEFC rose from the ashes in the 90s, BFC was an obvious rival. In more recent times of living memory BFC were a mainstay of Division 1 and BEFC rarely joined them to continue the story and not really a proper rivalry in terms of matches.

That was until a few season's back in which BFC put Embassy out of the Cup in controversial, goal keeper molesting style and a loss on penalties. The next season BEFC returned into division 1 and got a chance to take revenge.
That didn't go particularly well due to BEFC's division 1 bad habit of believing they were still in division 2, over-attacking and then watching the few defenders get slaughtered on the counter-attack.

While the defeats where performance-wise reasonably close matches, BEFC ended up on the end of 2 hammerings, so much so that BFC thought they would cake-walk BEFC in the FJC Cup Semi-Final. However they were horribly wrong. BEFC are often better when star players are absent because the team pulls together hard and actually concentrates on executing a gameplan. The semi-final was an absolute BEFC classic, in which they held their positioning, choked out BFC, didn't allow a counter-attack and after patience and pressure got the lead and shut up shop. BFC were shocked as almost their entire team collapsed in despair on the final whistle!

Now it's back to the league, because that season BEFC were relegated, and the current squad is a very different animal. BFC are still the same and a team that once was British but now entirely Japanese. They have a solid target man goal scorer in Kohei Hanada, who is always in the Golden Boot running each season, and they are incredibly dangerous off the counter and turnover. So far BFC's results haven't been great, but the losses have been against the stronger performing D1 clubs and a recent draw with Hibs. That should tell us that they are still on form as a dangerous D1 opponent and we should probably be expecting some revenge for the semi-final defeat.

For BEFC, it's about keeping the way we have been playing and focus on our own game and improving. However this match especially we must practice being smart by not over-commiting to attack and to not risk/lose the ball cheaply in dangerous areas with bad passing decisions or taking too long on the ball (often the area in front of the center backs). If players do push to attack you MUST be running back into position if the attack breaks down, not staying up there. If we play the ball into danger areas, make sure you have time to turn and if not pass it back quickly and wait until there is space...(like the pros ;)