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Local sports team dream goes bust

Date Posted: 2004-09-24

The organizers’ goal was to create a J-League soccer team for Okinawa.

They planned, and worked, found a sponsor, and got the team off the ground.

Unfortunately, the dream bubble has burst and the team’s dream is going unrealized. The team is folding. There is no more money.

The team’s sponsor has withdrawn, as revenues weren’t enough to keep the team afloat. The last game, last Sunday, was on home turf at Awase’s Prefectural Comprehensive Park. The team went out on a high, beating Kyushu League Champion Kita-Kyushu 3-1. More than 200 turned out for the game; many were youngsters aspiring to become soccer players. The boys expressed sorry they were watching the team’s last game.

“Please don’t stop playing soccer. Please go to J-League and keep a team.”

Coach Hisashi Katou shook hands with every player as the team’s brief time ended with sadness and tears. “I’m sorry this is the last game, and I’m sorry I couldn’t keep you guys until we become a J-League team. I’m proud of you and thank you for giving to the dream.”

Players weren’t dry-eyed either, telling the coach “our team made us great memories, and we’re proud of this team. Even thought he name is gone, we won’t forget you or the team with the orange uniforms.” They asked for another chance to follow their dream, and are hoping new sponsors will step forward.

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