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TOP 4 Japanese Clubs to Manage in Football Manager 2024

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Explore top Japanese clubs in FM24. Master J-League’s best teams and unlock unique managing challenges.
Top 4 Japanese Clubs to Manage in Football Manager 2024

Explore FM24's Exciting New Addition: Managing in Japan's Top Football Leagues


FM24 has seen the addition of one of the most hotly-anticipated leagues in the recent history of the series: the J-League is finally here. Japan has something of a cult status on FM, with players having to resort to community-created leagues and databases to play in the East Asian country, and their national side has drawn further curiosity as a result. With a reputation for producing technically gifted players, managing in Japan looks set to be an incredibly popular pastime for FM aficionados. The purpose of this article is to suggest a handful of clubs to try your hand at, to help you dip your toes into this exciting league.

1. Kawasaki Frontale


FM24 Kawasaki Frontale

Arguably the easiest save in the country to start with, Kawasaki Frontale are one of the richest clubs in the country. With the second-highest starting transfer budget, great training facilities and a respectable youth academy, Azzurro Nero are one of the high flyers in the J-League, having achieved 4 titles since 2017. While they have been underwhelming this season in real life, this is a club that commands respect across Japan, and should be well-placed to bounce back from a difficult season to resume their place among the heavyweights of this league.

In terms of players, you’ll rely heavily on Miki Yamane (in the original database) to steady your defence and the attacking talents of Akihiro Ienaga. Despite being 37 years of age, Ienaga remains a tricky attacker who racked up 12 goals in the 2022 season. You’ll need to replace him eventually as he ages, but for season one he’s a viable option in your attack.

  

2. Tokyo Verdy


FM24 Tokyo Verdy

Looking to the second tier, we have a fallen giant in Tokyo Verdy. With most of their success in the '80s and '90s, Verdy have 7 titles and 5 Emperor’s Cups, making them one of the most decorated clubs in Japan. Times have been tougher in recent years, and Verdy find themselves floundering in the second tier, where they have been since relegation in 2005. This is obviously a tough one for a club with such historic success, so turning this side around is essential.

To get you there, your facilities and academy are all good, especially for the level, and they share a near-50,000 seater stadium with FC-Tokyo, so the infrastructure is still that of a big club. Your playing staff are reasonable, but not exceptional, so tactical ingenuity is the answer to this.

 

3. Imabari


FM24 Imabari

Down in the J3, we find one of the more eye-catching sides in Japan. Imabari, at first glance, don’t seem to be particularly special: basic facilities and now great capacity to produce wonderkids. However, this club has a very attractive attribute: they have a transfer budget of £11 million. This is the richest club in the third tier by a distance, so expectation is high. With this war chest, you’ll have the ability to put together a talented squad and rocket up the leagues to the top flight. From there, the hard work really begins, as you’ll need to improve the infrastructure of the club to ensure this ascent has a lasting legacy. This is a blank canvas of a club, and you have a huge opportunity to etch your name into legend.

 

4. Urawa


FM24 Urawa

Back in the top flight is one of the best youth academies in the country. With excellent youth recruitment, excellent training facilities and great youth facilities, Urawa has the opportunity to become a real talent factory in Japan. In the meantime, you also have one of the strongest squads in J1, as they currently sit third in the league in real life. To top it all off, they are also the reigning AFC Champions League champions, defeating Al-Hilal of Saudi Arabia in the final. This is a talented side, heavily dependent on their superb defence led by the Scandinavian duo of Marius Høibråten and Alexander Scholz, and the ability to produce future talent makes this an attractive long-term save. The red diamonds are five time-champions and have eight cup wins to their name, and have been champions of Asia three times. This is one of Asia’s biggest clubs and the opportunity to usher this club into a new era is too good to pass up.

READ NEXT: Top 7 MOST UNDERRATED Teams to Manage in Football Manager 2024

Conclusion


The opportunity to manage in Japan has been long-awaited for many FM players, and FM24 has finally delivered. This new league provides a fun and exciting challenge for players unfamiliar with Asian football, and a fantastic way to learn more about the game in one of the world’s most exciting and passionate leagues. I hope this article has provided you with inspiration to try managing in Japan, and plenty of ideas for how best to tackle this new challenge.

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FM Blog | FM24: TOP 4 Japanese Clubs to Manage in Football Manager 2024
TOP 4 Japanese Clubs to Manage in Football Manager 2024
Explore top Japanese clubs in FM24. Master J-League’s best teams and unlock unique managing challenges.
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