On Saturday 14th March the inaugural International Junior League (IJL) came to a thrilling finale at British School Tokyo. All 8 teams participated, 5 of which were in with a shout of being crowned champions. At the start of play Nishimachi were in the driving seat in the U-10 league, needing just two points from their remaining games. The BFA Jaguars were hoping to pounce if Nishimachi were to slip up. As it was it was the Jaguars who felt the pressure, falling to a 2-1 defeat to F.C Nomade. Nishimachi for their part won the first of their matches against BST, before losing the reverse fixture. The defeat made no impact on the final standings, Nishimachi finishing as deserved champions.
In the U-12’s three teams entered the morning with a realistic chance of winning the title. F.C Nomade were in the driving seat having 12 points form their five games, followed by BFA Jaguars with 9 points from five games and BST with 6 from four. First to play was BST who put the pressure on F.C Nomade and Jaguars after beating Nishimachi convincingly. Next came F.C Nomade against Jaguars. Jaguars needed to win to keep the title chase alive, a win or draw would be enough for F.C Nomade to claim the championship. After a thrilling end to end battle Jaguars emerged victorious 4-1, the margin of victory enough for the Jaguars to replace F.C Nomade on top of the table on goal difference. The title would be decided on the last game, a replay of BST against Nishimachi. A win for BST would give leave them top of the table whilst any other result would see Jaguars as champions. A dominant performance by BST ended with them comfortable 6-0 winners and U-12 champions.
IJL organiser James Bates was delighted with how the first season went: “The league has been a great success and we are actively looking to expand the league.”
James hopes season two will run throughout two terms stating in October and finishing in March.
Any schools or teams who wish to know more about the IJL please contact Footy Japan at:
For final standings please check out the website: footyjapancompetitions.com/events/international-junior-league-2015/