AFL Japan’s GO.LEAGUE (Development League) season kicks off this weekend with the R246 Lions taking on the Senshu Powers this Saturday morning at the Ikego Athletic Field, which is an hour south of Tokyo.

The GO.LEAGUE was established in 2018 to help fast-track developing players new to the game and to prepare them for A.LEAGUE duties and for clubs and players based outside of the Kanto Region (Greater Tokyo).

The GO.LEAGUE consists of three teams, including the R246 Lions, the University-based Senshu Powers and the Osaka Dingoes.

A number of players from Sendai, Nagoya, Miyazaki, Fukuoka and Shimane have featured in the GO.LEAGUE, as they do not have enough players to field a standalone team or their region doesn’t have an active or an established team.

Practice Games or Exhibition Games have been a feature of the GO.LEAGUE during it’s infancy, due to high travel costs, university commitments, the A.LEAGUE season commitments and the current pandemic.

It is envisaged that new clubs will be created and the GO.LEAGUE will be expanded in the future into a regular season and/or an annual tournament.