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U-23 Japan National Team for Portugal trip

15 March 2016

 U-23 Japan National Team for Portugal trip

The Japan Football Association (JFA) announced the U-23 Japan National Team on 14 March. The team will make a trip to Portugal between the 21st and 30th of this month. JFA National Technical Director SHIMODA Masahiro and coach TEGURAMORI Makoto spoke about their expectations for the team at the news conference.

Japan will play an international friendly against the U-23 Mexico National Team on the 25th and a practice game against a Portuguese powerhouse Sporting on the 28th. “U-23 Mexico National Team were the champion team in the London Olympics, so it's a good opponent to know where we are in the world as of now,” Teguramori said. “The Sporting game will give us a great experience to play against older foreign players. With the Olympics in sight, we've set the games with two games in between.”

A total of 22 players will participate in the Portugal trip. Based on the team that captured the AFC U-23 Championship Qatar 2016 (Rio de Janeiro Olympics Asian Qualifiers Final Round), newcomers NAKAMURA Kosuke, NAKATANI Shinnosuke, SEKINE Takahiro, KAMADA Daichi, KANAMORI Takeshi, and VAN WERMESKERKEN Sai, who has been called for the team for the first time, will go along with the team as well.

“They must have watched the tournament (Asian Qualifiers Final Round), so I believe that they will come with us with the image of how they would play on the team. Players of this generation have high understanding (of tactics),” Teguramori said of the six players. “After the Asian Qualifiers Final Round ended, we are already making changes this much in our first trip. That means that those who didn't get called up this time still have a chance to be on this team later. I would like them to know that.”

U-23 Japan National Team squad, who captured the Asian title, will get to work on building a team that can compete with the world starting in this Portugal trip.

Comments

SHIMODA Masahiro, JFA National Technical Director
We're now going to start our preparation for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. We are going to test a lot of players in March's international friendly and stimulate competitions inside the team so we will have a better team. For the Portugal trip, we set the schedule, prioritizing playing against the U-23 Mexico National Team. We were looking for a big club opponent that has experiences to have played in the UEFA Champions League or Europe League for our 28th practice game, and then Sporting agreed to play with us.

TEGURAMORI Makoto, Coach (U-23 Japan National Team)
Base on our team that played in the 2016 AFC U-23 Championship in Qatar, I wanted to see how much we would be able to compete against the U-23 Mexico National Team in March. Because we've got some injured players, we had to make some member changes, but this team have so many capable players. And there are some others who try to make the U-23 Japan National Team again. Toward the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, we would like to lead our players to have higher awareness of competing between themselves.

JFA-TV (Japanese version only)

Schedule

Tue. 22 March AM/PM Training
Wed. 23 March PM Training
Thu. 24 March PM Official training (Estadio Municipal de Rio Maior)
Fri. 25 March 15:36 International Friendly Match
vs U-23 Mexico National Team (Estadio Municipal de Rio Maior)
Sat. 26 March AM Training
Sun. 27 March AM Training
Mon. 28 March 14:00 Training Match
vs Sporting Clube de Portugal (Estadio Municipal de Rio Maior)

*Local Time
*The schedule is subject to change due to the team condition, the weather, etc.

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