Saitama Jets F.C.
Saitama Jets FC began life in 1996 when five footballers found themselves working in Saitama, Japan and without a team to play for. They decided to start their own team and Saitama Jets was formed.
Being a mixture of Brits and Americans it was hard to decide on a name for the team. Personal allegiances, for the Brits especially, ruled out anything along the lines of United, City, Albion, and Forest, so the slightly American name of Saitama Jets FC was settled upon.
The first tournament under our new moniker was in the Yokohama International 5-a-side event where eight pioneers turned up and played in a tight, borrowed, kit courtesy of Inagakuen High School. After the tournament, tea in Yokohama's China Town included discussions on getting a larger sized kit, with the colour blue being chosen as a traditional footballing colour without unwanted connotations back home.
The club crest (top right) was designed in Spring 1998 by team captain Mark Eite and his brother, James, who were travelling in Japan at the time. It is based on the old Japanese flag with a hint of Birmingham City, Brazil and Urawa Reds thrown in.
Says Mark; "We were trying to give the crest a Japanese feel but also wanted to create something that would last. The centre of the diamond was made blue to represent the club's colours, with the rays of the rising sun spreading out. We wanted to have some Japanese on the crest so chose to write the club name in Katakana. The motto across the centre, "We are football mania", was chosen by one of the team's founding fathers, Jonathan Anthony, who saw the words, "We are t-shirt mania", advertising a local clothes shop. While the motto from the Brazilian national crest was considered, it was felt that the "We are football mania" motto would be more easily understood in Japan. A final consideration to the design was to create something simple enough to be easily reproduced in our merchandising."
Since 1998 the crest has been included on the Jets team kits, club ties and further merchandising. The multinational team continues to grow and boasts members from all over the world.
Thanks to Mark Eite, Club Captain and Joint Founder at Saitama Jets FC, for the above crest and information.