Cerezo Osaka today announced that Toshiki Onozawa, Kakeru Funaki, and Reiya Morishita would be promoted from the academy to the first team next season.
All of the 3 players are well known among Cerezo supporters as they played J3 games for Cerezo Osaka U-23 this season and had several opportunities to be selected for Japan’s under-category national team (U-16, U-17, U-18, U-19). Most notably, left back Kakeru Funaki has recently won the AFC U-19 Championship as a member of the U-19 national team. Funaki, whose strengths are precise crossing and finishing despite his position, is a boyhood Cerezo fan, firstly joined Cerezo Osaka Soccer School Nagai Branch (not exactly certain when he joined but surely when he was an elementary school student) and had been promoted to each category (U-12, U-15, and U-18).
[Video] 舩木翔の先制点。Kakeru Funaki scored the first goal for Cerezo Osaka in the 22nd minute. pic.twitter.com/ucfilmTgwD
— CRZ Tweets (@crz_tweets) 2015年12月17日
The names of center back Reiya Morishita and midfielder Toshiki Onozawa are often seen in the U-23 team’s starting lineup. Both started in 18 out of 28 games, and especially Onozawa, who recently scored his first goal at a professional level, appeared in most of those games (25).
Morishita have also scored two goals for Cerezo Osaka U-23. They are expected to play constantly and become central figures for the U-23 team next season, and someday not so far away, important players for the first team.
Cerezo have already announced signings of 2 high school students (midfielder Musashi Oyama of Sapporo Otani High School and goalkeeper Shu Mogi of Toko Gakuen High School), so in total, 5 young players are scheduled to join Cerezo Osaka next season as of writing this post.
Source: Cerezo Osaka Official Website