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U-20 Japan National Team announces squad for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019

08 May 2019

U-20 Japan National Team announces squad for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019

On Tuesday 7 May, the Japan Football Association (JFA) held a press conference at JFA House in Tokyo, to announce the final roster for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019, scheduled to kick-off on Thursday 23 May.

At the press conference, JFA Technical Director SEKIZUKA Takashi and Coach KAGEYAMA Masanaga of the U-20 Japan National Team took the podium. Coach Kageyama started off by stating, “Ever since we started the team in February 2017, our primary goal was the U-20 World Cup. This tournament will give us a precious opportunity to face the top teams of the world in this age category.” The coach continued by sharing his aspiration ahead of the tournament, “Before we make our ways to Poland, we will prepare the national team members within this short period of time, so that they can showcase their full potential.”

Technical Director Sekizuka shared his support towards the players by mentioning, “The tournament will provide the players with wonderful experiences to fight against the world’s best teams in this age group. I want our players to showcase a good performance.”

Regarding his team selection, Coach Kageyama mentioned that he had a difficult time finalising the 21-man roster, “We simulated many situations, analysed our matches, and planned out how we would utilise our players. However, we kept circulating the same dilemma. It was impossible to come up with a final conclusion.” With that being said, the coach explained the criteria of his final selection, “I emphasised on selecting players I would feel confident to utilise when facing the top teams of the world. I made the decision to select the players I can fight with.”

The U-20 Japan National Team will hold a training camp in Chiba from Sunday 12 to Monday 13 May, before traveling to Poland on Tuesday 14. Once arriving at Poland, the team will play a friendly match against the U-20 Colombia National Team on Friday 17 to prepare for the tournament.

As Coach Kageyama mentioned, “We will be facing true powerhouses of this age category,” the Japanese side will face the U-20 Ecuador National Team in their first group stage match on Thursday 23, followed by the U-20 Mexico National Team on Sunday 26, and the U-20 Italy National Team on Wednesday 29. The group stage will present the team with a great challenge, but the U-20 Japan National Team will seek to advance to the knockout stage as a team.

Coach and Technical Director's Comments

KAGEYAMA Masanaga, Coach of U-20 Japan National Team
I will do my best to allow my players to play to their full potential. I am sure that I have selected the players who are capable of rising to the occasion. Ever since the launch of this team, I have always told my players that I don’t want us to be called a skilful Japan National Team. Instead, I want to showcase a Japan National Team that can put up a good fight and make the supporters proud. I believe that we have plenty of players who can fight, so we will prepare ourselves for the U-20 World Cup to achieve our goal.

SEKIZUKA Takashi, Technical Director
The U-20 World Cup will play a key role for the development of the Japan football community. As Coach Kageyama has always mentioned, we hope to succeed as a team and bring our players to a higher stage, so that we can showcase our country’s ability to develop players. The JFA is now united as one to support the team prepare for the tournament.

Schedule

Sun. 12 May 16:00 Training *Open to the public
Mon. 13 May 15:00 Training Match vs Ryutsu Keizai University
*Open to the public
Wed. 15 May AM/PM Training
Thu. 16 May AM/PM Training
Fri. 17 May 16:00 Friendly Match vs U-20 Colombia National Team
Sun. 19 May AM Training
Mon. 20 May PM Training
Tue. 21 May PM Training
Wed. 22 May PM Official Press-conference/Training
FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019
Thu. 23 May 20:30 1st Group Stage Match vs U-20 Ecuador National Team
(Bydgoszcz Stadium, Bydgoszcz)
Fri. 24 May AM Training
Sat. 25 May PM Training
Sun. 26 May 15:30 2nd Group Stage Match vs U-20 Mexico National Team
(Gdynia Stadium, Gdynia)
Mon. 27 May PM Training
Tue. 28 May PM Training
Wed. 29 May 18:00 3rd Group Stage Match vs U-20 Italy National Team
(Bydgoszcz Stadium, Bydgoszcz)
Sun. 2 - Tue. 4 June TBC Round of 16
Fri. 7 or Sat. 8 June TBC Quarterfinals
Tue. 11 June 17:30/20:30 Semi-Finals
Fri. 14 June 20:30 3rd Place Match
Sat. 15 June 18:00 Final

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

 

FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019

Tournament Dates: Thu. 23 May - Sat. 15 June 2019

Group Stage:
Fri. 24 May 2019 03:30 (Japan time)
vs U-20 Ecuador National Team

Sun. 26 May 2019 22:30 (Japan time)
vs U-20 Mexico National Team

Thu. 30 May 2019 01:00 (Japan time)
vs U-20 Italy National Team

Tournament Information

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