Renofa Yamaguchi FC (レノファ山口FC, Renofa Yamaguchi FC) is a Japanese professional football club based in Yamaguchi, the capital of Yamaguchi Prefecture. They play in the J2 League, the second tier of the country's football league system.
The original football team consisted of a group of teaching staff who were based within Yamaguchi prefecture, a team called Yamaguchi Prefecture Teachers Football Club (山口県サッカー教員団, Yamaguchi-ken sakka kyoin dan), often abbreviated to Yamaguchi Teachers or Yamaguchi KFC (compare Tochigi S.C. and Gainare Tottori, who started as teachers' clubs and are now members of the J.League).
In February 2006, the Yamaguchi Football Association eyed the placement of a team from Yamaguchi in the J.League. Setting its heart of operations at Yamaguchi Teachers, a new football club was established. At the same time, a public appeal was made to name the new club, with Renofa Yamaguchi F.C. being decided in March of the same year. The word renofa is a combination of three English words: renovation, fight and fine.
Without a specified home ground, the team played Chugoku league matches across a number of different venues within the prefecture, including Yamaguchi Ishin Park Stadium, Yamaguchi Kirara Expo Memorial Park, Onoda Football Park, Shunan City Athletic Stadium and Yamaguchi Football Park. Now however, home games are played at Yamaguchi Ishin Park Stadium.
Though structured with a hometown manager and local players, sponsored by local business and enterprises, and local action plans within the local community, Renofa Yamaguchi F.C. is aiming for a national future in the J.League.
In the days of Yamaguchi Teachers, the team frequently finished mid to low table in the Chugoku league. However, since the establishing of the new club in 2006, the team had consistently improved their final league position. This culminated in the 2008 season where they achieved their first league win. In the All Japan Regional Football Promotion League Series of that year the team finished fourth in the final round, missing the opportunity for promotion to the Japan Football League. The 2009 season saw them win their first Emperor's Cup match, beating Mitsubishi Motors Mizushima F.C. in a penalty shoot out.
Since the team's formation it had operated as a private organisation, however when the Nonprofit organization Yamaguchi Athletics Club was established on 24 May 2011, managing control of the team changed hands putting the new NPO in charge.
After the club finished fourth in 2014 Japan Football League and passed the necessary licensing, J.League officially admitted Renofa Yamaguchi to participate in J3 League starting 2015 season. Their J.League debut season saw them earn the first ever rewards in their history, namely a third tier title and with it, promotion to the J2.
This page also has a version in other languages: Ренофа Ямагути (@@русский@@)