Shonan Bellmare

Founded In
1968
Location
Hiratsuka, Japan

Shonan Bellmare

About Shonan Bellmare

Shonan Bellmare were first established back in 1968, under the name Towa Estate Development SC. Originally based in the city of Tochigi, the club is now located in Hiratsuka, in the Kanagawa prefecture. Over the years, the side have enjoyed success in both domestic and international competitions. The team's main local rivals include Yokohama FC, Yokohama F. Marinos and Kawasaki Frontale.

In 1972, Towa Estate Development SC gained promotion to the top division of the Japan Soccer League. Whilst in the league, the club won a number of major honours, including the JSL Cup, two Emporer's Cups and three league titles, won in 1977, 1979 and 1981. The club took on the Shonan Bellmare name in 1993 and applied to enter the newly-formed J-League. After agreeing to renovate their stadium to meet J-League standards, their application was successful and they were granted entry to the league ahead of the 1994 season.

The team's first season in the J-League was successful, as Shonan Bellmare finished in fifth place in the league and lifted the Emporer's Cup. Another trophy followed in 1996, as the side claimed their first international honour, the Asian Cup Winners' Cup, by beating Al Talaba in the final. However, the club's fortunes soon took a turn for the worse and at the end of the 1999 campaign, they were relegated to J-League Division 2. Aside from a brief return to the top division in 2010, they would remain in Division 2 until their promotion in 2012.

Former Japanese international, Hidetoshi Nakata, is the team's best known former player. Other notable talents to represent the club include Hong Myung-Bo, Wagner Lopes and Nobuyuki Kojima.

Shonan Bellmare play their home games at Hiratsuka Athletics Stadium, which is currently known as Shonan BMW Stadium Hiratsuka for sponsorship reasons. The venue was built in 1987, underwent renovations in 1994 and is able to hold a maximum of 18,500 supporters.

Japan
J1 League