Having spent the entire 2013 season on-loan to J1 side Ventforet Kofu, 26 year-old goalkeeper Kohei Kawata returns ahead of our return to J1.
Kawata managed 17 appearances last season for Kofu, picking up 4 clean sheets and one red card in the league. He also managed 5 additional appearances in the cup competitions. He had also spent the 2012 season on loan to Avispa Fukuoka in J2 but managed just 10 league appearances for the struggling team that season. This was after he made not a single appearance for Gamba in the 2 years between 2010 and 2011.
Kawata has been lucky to get back to Gamba after it seemed like he has been released at the end of the 2012 season. Gamba quickly snapped him back up in a bizarre move but sent him straight out to Kofu. On his return, it seems like he will battling Atsushi Kimura for the spot on the bench as it seems certain that new signing Masaaki Higashiguchi will be the main man between the posts.
Good luck Kohei and welcome back! Hopefully he can use the experience he picked up in the last two years to prove that he can be a pivotal member in 2014.