Fagiano Okayama FC are a professional soccer club in the J. League, currently playing in the J2 league. Their home town is the entire Okayama prefecture, centering around cities like Okayama, Kurashiki and Tsuyama. Team’s home stadium is the City Light Stadium (Okayama Combined Ground Athletic Stadium) in Okayama city.
The club was founded in 1975 under the name River Free Kickers by the old boys of Kawasaki Steel Mizushima FC. After that, in 2003, Fagiano Okayama was formed with River Free Kickers being the parent organization. They smoothly passed Okayama League’s 1st division, Chugoku Soccer League and in 2007 they won the Japan Regional Football Champions League, which meant they would advance to JFL in 2008.
In their first year in JFL, they had 6 consecutive victories and by managing to maintain their good performance, they finished in 4th place, thus succeeding to meet the conditions for entering the J. League. Once the temporary J. League committee acknowledged their application, Fagiano Okayama became the second Chugoku club to enter the J. League after Sanfrecce Hiroshima.
After joining the J. League, Fagiano weren’t been able to produce any results for several years, but when former Japan National team players like Daiki Iwamasa, Akira Kaji and the main player in the Japan National team during the Rio Olympics, Shinya Yajima, joined the team in 2015, the next year, in 2016, they made rapid progress. They advanced to the J1 promotion playoffs after finishing 6th in their league matches, which was the highest the club had ever reached. Even their average stadium visitor count went over 10 000 people.
In the playoff semi finals, they faced Matsumoto Yamaga FC and during injury time they scored the winning goal, advancing to the final with their 2-1 score. In the final, they lost 0-1 against Cerezo Osaka and unfortunately let their chance to promote to J1 slip by. Nevertheless, they had a very solid season.
Fagiano’s home jersey is wine red and their supplier from 2010 has been Penalty. The team’s shirts are decorated with logos of their local sponsors like Grop, un.deux, and others.