From Osaka to Johor: The tale of a Japanese couple’s love for JDT

Joe Lee

Yasu and Maki kitted out to support JDT. — Picture via Twitter/juanbudiman

PETALING JAYA, May 24 — It’s not uncommon to hear of local fans making ‘pilgrimages’ to catch their favourite football teams live in action.

While some may scoff and turn their noses at Malaysian clubs despite their love for the beautiful game, one Japanese couple has grabbed the attention of football fans down south for their love for Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) football club.

A memento from the couple in Nara Club's Ancient Squad sticker. — Picture via Twitter/juanbudiman

A JDT fan took to Twitter to share the story of Yasu and his wife Maki from Osaka, who are hardcore members of the ‘Ancient Squad’, supporters of Division 4 football team, Nara club.

“They watched their first game involving Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) two years ago for the AFC Champions League (ACL) play-off between Gamba Osaka and JDT in early 2017,” shared a Twitter user by the handle @juanbudiman.



He said, despite the Southern Tigers going down by three goals, the couple developed a love, not just for the team but also the JDT ‘ultras’ fans in the Boys of Straits.

“Later that year, both Yasu and Maki flew down again to watch JDT in the final of the Malaysia Super League, and watched as the team lifted the trophy.”

The couple are recognised by JDT's hardcore Boys of Straits. — Picture via Twitter/Firdaushaari

According to Juan, the couple have devoted time and money to travel some 5,000km to once again watch JDT take on the ACL this year.

“Football culture has its own appeal, and Yasu and Maki are proof of that.

“If foreigners can devote their fandom to a club, not from their place of birth, why can’t we support our local clubs. What are we waiting for?” he tweeted.

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