Nadeshiko Japan off to a new start with all 23 players - FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019
29 May 2019
With their international friendly match against the Spain Women's National Team scheduled on Sunday 2 June, the Nadeshiko Japan (Japan Women's National Team) resumed their trainings at Le Touquet, a town in northern France. The match against Spain will be their final training match ahead of the FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019.
On this day, the team held their first training session since arriving in France. Also, with the two players playing abroad, UTSUGI Rumi and KUMAGAI Saki joining the group, it made it their first session with all 23 players. Under clear skies, the team held two sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
The morning session focused on allowing the players to get their bodies refreshed from the training camp held in Japan and the long travel they endured on the day before, as the session lasted for an hour where the players were seen stretching their bodies, taking light jogs, and knocking the ball around. The session in the afternoon consisted more intense drills where the players went through core trainings, passing drills, and mini games. With the World Cup fast approaching, the players kept their motivations high and showcased great enthusiasm throughout the session.
A meeting was held after dinner, where the players were reminded with the team goal, and the necessary process that needs to be taken care of in order to achieve that goal. After counting the remaining days left ahead of the first match, Coach TAKAKURA Asako spoke to the team, “A shot can deflect off the cross bar and either go in or bounce off. The outcome of a match can be determined by a subtle difference like that. It is how sincere you work during the daily training sessions that make the difference. The football gods are watching those details. I want all of our players to train with the intention to improve in one or two aspects within the remaining time.”
The Nadeshiko Japan will play a training match against Spain on Sunday 2 June ahead of their first group stage match of the FIFA Women’s World Cup against Argentina on Monday 10.
DF #2 UTSUGI Rumi (Seattle Reign FC)
France is a very memorable country, and I feel like I came back with a sense of challenge. I am still jet lagged after traveling from the USA and I must get my conditions straight, but the team had a good atmosphere, so I hope to bring more energy to the team. I have teammates at my club who plays for England, so I hope to share my information to the team and make the necessary adjustments against them.
DF #4 KUMAGAI Saki (Olympique Lyonnais)
There aren’t many players who have experienced the World Cup, so I hope to lead the team and guide the young players to allow them to play freely on the pitch. I will prepare myself ahead of our match against Spain to get on the same page with the team. The first match of the tournament is going to be a pivotal match for us, and we really want to win that match, but none of the matches will be easy, so we’re just going to have to take each match at a time to get through the group stage. This will be my third World Cup and I have learned so many things along the way, so I hope to enjoy myself in this tournament.
FW #8 IWABUCHI Mana (INAC Kobe Leonessa)
Being in France really makes it feel like the tournament is around the corner. We have about two weeks left, so I will do my best to get myself in top condition at game time. The young players are carrying a positive vibe and they all have their strong points, so there are not many things I can do for them. I am seeing a gradual improvement in my condition. If we can top our group at the group stage, we should be able to see our next goal, so we will prepare ourselves well for the first match and hope to finish the three matches with positive results.
FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019
Tournament Dates: Fri. 7 June - Sun. 7 July 2019
Tue. 11 June 2019 01:00 (Japan time)
vs Argentina Women's National Team
Fri. 14 June 2019 22:00 (Japan time)
vs Scotland Women's National Team
Thu. 20 June 2019 04:00 (Japan time)
vs England Women's National Team
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