Sapporo Consadole midfielder Masaki Yamamoto faces four to five weeks on the sidelines after picking up a thigh strain during Sunday’s match with Shimizu S-Pulse, reports the Sankei Shimbun. The news will come as a blow for the 24 year-old and his club having started all four of Consa’s J.League Division 1 matches, having joined from S-Pa at the beginning of 2012. (You can watch Yamamoto in goalscoring action for his former club here, scoring the first for the Shizuoka Prefecture side in a thumping 5-1 win away to FC Tokyo on 4 October 2008)
The Sankei Shimbun also notes the opening of the 3rd JFA Academy in Sakai City, Osaka Prefecture. The academy is the third opened by the JFA, which focus exclusively on elite youth player development, to add to those in Fukushima and Kumamoto Prefectures, and the second open to girls.
The unveiling of the Sakai City academy was part of a three-day long “Live Your Goals” Girls festival featuring small-sided football, an opportunity to meet the Japan Women’s National Football team and watch the final match in the inaugural Kirin Women’s Challenge Cup as the host nation take on Brazil. Similar festivals to increase participation in women’s football are planned for those cities involved in the FIFA Women’s Under-20 World Cup.
And finally, J.League Division 2 side Thespa Kusatsu is to change its name to ThespaKusatsu Gunma, according to the Asahi Shimbun. The change is scheduled to take place at the start of the 2013 season, for a team which only adopted its current title in 2002.