Giravanz Kitakyushui are a professional soccer club in the J. League. Their home town is Kitakyushu city from Fukuoka prefecture. Presently they are in the J3 League. They use the Mikuni World Stadium Kitakyushu as their home stadium.
The team was founded in 1947 as the Mitsubishi Chemical Kurosaki Soccer Club. In 2001 Kitakyushu city and local businesses co-founded a private company called Kitakyushu Football Club with the goal of entering the J. League. The team was renamed to New Wave Kitakyushu after taking over the Mitsubishi Chemical Kurosaki Soccer Club
In 2007 New Wave Kitakyushu won the Kyushu League championship and by making it to the runner-up in the Japan Regional League they advanced to the Japan Football league (JFL). Moreover in 2009 they reached 4th place in JFL and were allowed to enter the J. League from 2010.
In 2010 the team name was changed to Giravanz Kitakyushu, making them the 5th club after Roasso Kumamoto to join the J. League from the Kyushu region and the 2nd after Avispa Fukuoka from Fukuoka prefecture. The team manager was George Yonashiro, who joined the Yomiuri FC in the 70s and helped the team advance to JSL Division 1. Sadly the J. League proved too difficult for the team, after their first victory against Tokyo Verdy in the 3rd match the team was unable to score points and their defense fell apart.
In the end, after their first victory in the J2 League, they played 31 matches without a single win, thus renewing the J. League’s worst record and finished last on their first season in the J. League.
In 2011 Kazuyoshi Miura’s older brother Yasutoshi Miura, who during his active career was the main player for Shimizu S-Pulse and Verdy Kasawaki, was hired as the new manager. The team was completely reformed, new coaches and several J1 caliber players were brought in.As a result, they finished 8th on their second season, which was an impressive improvement to their last place finish the previous year.
Starting from 2013 Koichi Hashiratani, who in the past was in charge of the Montedio Yamagata and Kyoto Sanga FC, joined as the Giravanz’s new manager. On his second year in 2014 the team’s defensive lineup stabilized and they ended 5th in the league. In the Emperor’s Cup they were also able to beat the J1 team’s Yokohama F. Marinos and Ventforet Kofu. It was the first time the club had made it to the quarter-finals.
However, during Hashiratani’s 4th year in 2016 the team won their opening match, but after that losses came one after another and after they got beaten by Montedio Yamagata, the team dropped to last place. Because of this the team relegated to J3 and Hashiratani announced his resignation.
In 2017 they will once again aim for J2 under the leadership of a new manager.
The team’s home jersey is yellow and their supplier from 2010 to 2012 was “umbro” and from 2013 and onwards it has been “bonera”. Their jerseys have logos of their local sponsors like “YASKAWA Electric Corporation”, “TOTO” and others.