Posted: May 4, 2013
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The joys of cliché. A fans guide to consolation.

There’s an old cliché football fans the world over like to use when their side has just made any kind of exit from a cup competition… “At least we can concentrate on the league now”.

It brings closure, some kind of consolation and is a shining example of football fans always looking for the silver lining of any situation. The truth is, as in this case, often absurdly accurate.

Vegalta bowed out from their debut Champions League campaign this week but did so with their heads high. It had taken them from South Korea to China and points in-between and despite the massive drain on resources for such a small squad, it provided another great chapter in the amazing journey of the club and the city post 3/11.

So on Monday, it’s back to business as normal and a trip to Nagoya. Concentrating on the league.

Posted: April 2, 2013
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All Too Quick

Once again we find ourselves in a departure lounge heading back to the UK and once again it seems all too quick. Once again, we’ve seen things which have filled us with sadness and once again, we have been reminded that everywhere there has been destruction, there is hope and optimism. The strength and fortitude of the Japanese people is often overlooked and taken for granted by a world feasting on 24 hour news. The stories here are real though, not just flickering pixels in the corner of a room – and they are played out on a day to day basis, each 24 hours bringing fresh challenges but fresh hope.

We don’t know how we can even begin to communicate on screen the strength of the people of Japan and the Tohoku region in particular, but we will try our best. One thing is for certain, we are looking forward to our return and catching up with the many good friends we have made.

Posted: March 29, 2013
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Vegalta in China!

Thanks to Mykuni-san for these fantastic shots of the warm reception the Vegalta fans received in China during their recent ACL encounter with Jiangsu Sainty.

The sheer distances involved in the area covered by the ACL creates some interesting problems in terms of travel for the fans – Already supporting in a country with high transport costs. Vegalta are one of the few J1 teams based in the northern half of the country, meaning that an away game can entail a round trip of up to 2-3,000 km.

The bullet train provides a quick solution but not a cheap one, with even moderate journeys costing around £200 return. To get round this, the fans drive huge distances – with one fan we spoke to planning top drive 10 hours to get to the Osaka game before getting straight on a plane to Seoul. It makes it all the more incredible then that Sendai have such a great away support at every game.

Posted: March 27, 2013
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Bright Futures

After a hectic few days filming, we’ve finally had chance to take stock of the trip so far and put up some stories on the blog.

One of the things that has impressed us so much on this trip is the commitment in this area to grass-roots football and to developing the game. Huge amounts of energy are poured into coaching youth sides and, while the facilities and styles may differ, one message is consistent among all the coaches – That they want football to expand in Japan.

We visited FC Miyagi, whose training pitch sits awkwardly on top of a windswept hill but who boast such august alumni as Shinji Kagawa of Manchester United – And then took in the excellent youth facilities at Vegalta, where a legion of coaches implement the long term vision of coach Teguramori. Finally, we watched an Under 12′s tournament sponsored by Coca Cola in an impressive facility in Rifu that boasted a double-sided grandstand and half a dozen pitches.

The skill levels on show at every single one of these venues and the quality of the coaching and mentoring being offered to the young players, left us in little doubt that Kagawa will not be the last Japanese star to sign for a major European club.

Posted: March 20, 2013
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Good to be Back! Day1 Filming 撮影初日

After a long journey, it was great to actually get straight into filming and we had a full day with the club in Sendai. See if you can guess from the pictures what we were up to?!

We have to thank, once again, all the staff and players of Vegalta who have made us feel so at home and allowed us so close to them. We only hope that the final film does justice to their efforts and those of the fans, in giving this great City something to smile about.

We will be posting some clips later in the week, but for now, keep following the blog and Facebook for updates.

Sendai – It’s good to be back… Take Me Home!




Football, Take Me Homeという映画のタイトル通り、ここ仙台の街にまた戻って来られて本当に嬉しいです。


Posted: March 18, 2013
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Urgent News on Kickstarter Campaign – 応援していただいている皆様へ

Dear Backers & Followers

We have had a great piece of news in that our Producers have managed to secure the funding to get us back out to Japan for our next phase of filming. So, we’re delighted to confirm that we’ll be on a plane Monday!

This is perfect timing as we had the opportunity to film interviews which were pivotal to the overall story but, in order for the movie to stay on schedule, had to be shot within March.

As a result, we feel the right thing to do is stop the crowd funding project for the time-being while we work on our next step forward. The Kickstarter program has been incredibly valuable for helping bring a large group of enthusiastic people behind the project – and through this, we have been lucky to meet some great new friends and hear some moving stories.

The short-term funding however allows us to focus energy on the project itself and deliver on some of the promises we have made. Our aim is to bring a great film to you and football fans will still play their part in delivering that story – Through their encouragement and by talking to us about their experiences.

It may well be that re-launch another campaign at a later date. We have met all the production costs ourselves so far but we still have a long way to go, so a long-term backer will be vital. For now, however, we can concentrate on filming.

You will not be charged any money as the campaign didn’t reach it’s target amount but as a thank you to every one that was prepared to back us, regardless soy the amount, we will be giving you a free download of the final film, along with a thank you from the Directors. Your names will also be featured in the final credits of the film.

kickstarter_thumbShould any of you wish to remain involved in the project on any level, please do get in touch through our contact page or through Facebook and Twitter – Don’t worry, there will be lots of opportunities to keep spreading the word!

Doug, Geoff and all The Production Crew at Football, Take Me Home.















もしこの先どのような形であっても映画を支援したい、また映画に関わっていきたいという方は映画のホームページ またはFacebook, Twitterを通していつでも連絡してください。



Posted: March 17, 2013
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Posted: March 17, 2013
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The Daily Yomiuri on FTMH

cap_online01Sean Carroll on Football, Take Me Home in the Daily Yomiuri. It was a real pleasure to discuss the film with Sean and we’re looking forward to catching up with him on one of the filming trips to Japan. Sean is known not only for his work with the Yomiuri but also the Weekly Soccer Magazine as well as his English language column on the J-League Official website and articles on Asian football for The Guardian in Britain.

The full article can be read here.

Posted: March 16, 2013
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Back to the Beginning!

While talking through the recent interviews about FTMH, I was reminded about how we came across the amazing story of Vegalta and their fans. Of how a trip to a Championship (tier 2) game in a small coastal town on the East Coast of England meant that we saw the evidence of fan power in action – as the wave of worldwide support for Vegalta surfed through to the tune of ‘Take Me Home Country Road’.

I looked out the YouTube video that I watched that day in Ipswich with our friends from Sendai and the staff of the club that had done so much to show their support, and to this day, it still makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck. Seems appropriate to run it on game day. Get the glory Sendai!!!!

Here’s to global fan power. Good to talk to you Dave at Sounder at Heart… This ones for you.