After claiming the right to play in J1 League*1, after beating 3rd placed Kyoto Sanga 2-0 in the playoff final, Tokushima Vortis became the first team ever from the Shikoku region to play in the top league in Japan. They are now training hard in order to stay in J1 League they had fought so hard to get in.
Vortis was coined from the Italian word 'vortice', which means 'whirlpool'. In Naruto City, part of the club's hometown, you can see lively whirling tides at the Naruto Strait. The name was chosen to exhibit the dynamics of a whirlpool in the hope of swallowing up the whole audience in excitement by its power, speed and unity.
Every match, the team tries its best to engage its fans by giving their best. With players from Brazil and South Korea as members of its team, Vortis has been a force to be reckoned with.
Shikoku is the smallest of Japan's four principal islands and the club's hometown is the entire prefecture of Tokushima, including the prefectural capital of Tokushima City.
After being founded as the soccer division of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Factory Inc. in 1955, the club entered the Japan Football League (JFL) via the Japan Soccer League. In 2005 as the club entered the J. League and participated in J2, it adopted the current name, Tokushima Vortis. The team has been sponsored by POCARI SWEAT since entering the J. League.
Tokushima Vortis coach Shinji Kobayashi, was appointed ahead of the 2012 season. In 2002 he won the J2 title with Oita Trinita and he also guided Montedio Yamagata to a second-place finish and promotion to J1 in 2008. He has demonstrated his skills with Vortis too and has been nicknamed the 'promotion contractor'.
Having started his career as a teacher, Coach Kobayashi said he has found pure joy in nurturing his players and watching them succeed in their own soccer careers.
Unlike any big budget teams that have the ability to acquire established soccer players, Vortis is a team that offers opportunities to those who were passed over. Because Vortis is a team that nurtures today's athletes to becoming tomorrow's superstars.
Coach Kobayashi promised his team to keep all original players and pointed out that it was extremely important for the team members to not get seriously injured. Another must is for the team to up its game by shortening their response times. He said J1 is totally different from J2. J1 team players have remarkable stamina and speed. And of course, fans' support and cheering them on live at the matches make all the difference!
For those who want to attend Tokushima Vortis matches, click here for the schedule.