Nadeshiko Japan announce squad for the MS&AD Cup 2023 and FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™
14 June 2023
Japan Football Association (JFA) held a press conference on Tuesday 13 June in Chiba Prefecture, in which JFA President TASHIMA Kohzo, Chairman SASAKI Norio of the JFA Women's Committee, and Head Coach IKEDA Futoshi of the Nadeshiko Japan appeared to announce the squad of Nadeshiko Japan (Japan Women’s National Team) for the MS&AD Cup 2023 and FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™.
Since taking over as head coach of Nadeshiko Japan in October 2021, coach Ikeda has been building the team by integrating both experienced and young players. With this being the team’s first World Cup under the current regime, President Tashima praised coach Ikeda for “building up the team with new team tactics,” and expressed his expectations for the new Nadeshiko Japan.
Chairman Sasaki mentioned that the members from the winning team of the FIFA Women's World Cup Germany 2011™ visited the team and told the current players not to be bound by the past, but rather focus on their own style of football with their own thoughts, and to compete in the World Cup with the spirt of fair play and respect. He then shared the Nadeshiko Japan's purpose “BE YOUR BEST SELF,” which was announced on the same day, expressing the team’s desire to compete in the World Cup with the values that Japanese women's football has cultivated over the years, which include dedication, determination, cheerfulness and courtesy, and with the message that they will always keep challenging themselves to be the best they can be.
In announcing the squad, coach Ikeda thanked the teams, coaches, and parents from all over the country and said, “The 23 players I am about to announce here will represent women's football in Japan and I would like them to take to heart the thoughts of all those who have supported them, the thoughts of those who were not included in the squad, and fight with the responsibility, determination, and joy of striving for the top of the world in a sport that they love.”
Of the 23 players, 14 play in the WE League and nine play for foreign clubs. Kumagai Saki (AS Roma) will be competing in her fourth World Cup, the most of any player on the team, and is the only player who was on the team for the 2011 championship campaign, while 14 players will be participating in their first World Cup, including a trio of 19 year olds, ISHIKAWA Rion (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Urawa Reds Ladies), FUJINO Aoba (Nippon TV Tokyo Verdy Beleza), and HAMANO Maika (Hammarby IF).
On this day, JFA also announced that they will be hosting a “send-off event -BE YOUR BEST SELF-“ on Thursday 6 July. The Nadeshiko Japan will play Panama Women's National Team in the MS&AD Cup 2023 at Yurtec Stadium Sendai (Miyagi) on Friday 14 July, before leaving for New Zealand for the World Cup. The team will play group stage matches against Zambia on Saturday 22 July, Costa Rica on Wednesday 26 July and Spain on Monday 31 July.
TASHIMA Kohzo, JFA President
This will be the first FIFA Women's World Cup™ since the WE League started. With the birth of a professional league, Japan has been striving to catch up with the USA and Europe, so it will be interesting to see how the new Nadeshiko Japan fare against the rest of the world in this World Cup. I have no doubt that coach Ikeda will put on a fantastic show by combining the players who finished as runners-up in the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Costa Rica 2022™ and those who competed in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. We hope you will help us strengthen the momentum for Nadeshiko Japan as we approach the FIFA Women's World Cup™ in just a month.
SASAKI Norio, Chairman of JFA Women's Committee
Head coach Ikeda took over in October 2021 and has been preparing Nadeshiko Japan for the FIFA Women's World Cup™ for almost one year and nine months. From the very beginning of his tenure, coach Ikeda has always told his players that they must display a performance that brings courage and inspiration to those who watch the matches. I believe that Nadeshiko Japan has a tradition of fighting with such enthusiasm, and with a focus on winning, so we are looking forward to seeing what kind of colour Ikeda Japan will display.
IKEDA Futoshi, Head Coach of Nadeshiko Japan (Japan Women's National Team)
Since I took over as head coach, each player has taken on various challenges with great ambition for their own personal development and to bring back a strong Nadeshiko Japan. I am very confident about my selection of these 23 players and am eager to restart our preparations for the FIFA Women's World Cup™, which starts next month. We will be competing to reach the top of the world, but we are aware that it won’t be easy given how rapidly women’s football is developing around the world. Even under such circumstances, I hope that we, the Nadeshiko Japan, can bring excitement and create unforgettable moments with our fans. We hope to build a positive momentum towards the World Cup, so please join us in our fight.
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