SAMURAI BLUE deepen teamwork ahead of match against China PR
06 September 2021
Two days ahead of their second match at the final round of the AFC Asian qualifiers (Road to Qatar) against the China PR National Team, the SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team) held their second training session in Doha on Sunday 5 September.
Before entering the evening training sessions, few of the players participated in an online exchange meeting with the students of the Japanese School of Doha. 13 students ranging from first grade to eighth grade were given the opportunity to ask questions to the players, as the players took time to give their sincere answer to each question. Despite being held online, the players were able to spend a relaxing time with the students.
This day’s training session started with coach MORIYASU Hajime demanding, “Let’s focus and put in a quality session.” Led by physical coach MATSUMOTO Ryoichi, the team went through their warmup routine during the first 15 minutes, in which the session was open to the media, followed by more detail oriented drills held behind closed doors to prep up the players for the upcoming match. With ONAIWU Ado (Toulouse FC) joining the team as an additional call-up, all 23 players worked up a sweat to deepen their teamwork.
The team will hold their official training session at the match venue on Monday, before playing the China PR National Team on Tuesday.
DF #20 SHOJI Gen (Gamba Osaka)
I have joined the team as an additional call-up on the day before the match against Oman. I was in the midst of a series of matches for my club, but I am proud to be here to fulfil my duty as a member of the national team. Five years ago, I watched the team lose the first match of the Asian qualifiers on the bench, and that experience has taught me that we need to reset our minds while making the necessary adjustments from the first match. All players must play with a sense of urgency, that we need to win all of the remaining nine matches. We were able to hold our training session with a positive vibe and it made me feel that the team is well prepared for the next match.
DF #21 YAMANE Miki (Kawasaki Frontale)
We are in a must win situation and our loss against Oman has reminded us how difficult it can be at the final round. Our next opponent, China PR, has naturalised players in their offence, and I have the impression that they play with great intensity to win the ball, so we need to mentally stay strong to win each battle. We need to utilise diagonal balls and change sides to keep our opponent on their toes. This final round leads to my dream stage, so I hope I can earn minutes on the pitch to help the team qualify for the World Cup. This is my third call-up to the national team, so I hope to communicate with other players and try to prepare myself in the best way possible.
MF #6 ENDO Wataru (VfB Stuttgart/Germany)
We have been able to analyse our match against Oman and relay the information among the players. We saw rooms for improvements in our offensive build-ups and defensive shape. I have continued to play at my club following the Tokyo Olympics, so I have been making extra efforts to maintain my physical condition. There are lots of pressure at the final round, but each player must overcome those pressures to showcase their usual performance. In other words, we need to have the mentality to enjoy the pressure. We have numbers of players with plenty of experience, so I am not that worried. I think it is our obligation as a member of the Japan National Team to overcome such pressures. If the younger players are concerned about the situation they are in, I hope to provide guidance, but it seems like none of the players need my advice at the moment.
MF #9 KAMADA Daichi (Eintracht Frankfurt/Germany)
The match against Oman was a difficult match, both as a team and as an individual. We cannot change the result, so we just need to make the most of the experience and try to win all of the remaining matches. I feel that we just need to eat well, sleep well, and train hard ahead of our next match against China PR. At a personal level, I hope to showcase quick transitions, which I consider as my strongest point as a player. As a team, we must go back to the basics and focus on our defence, which will ultimately help us construct quality offence.
AFC Asian Qualifiers【Road to Qatar】
Tue. 7 September 2021 [24:00] *Subject to change
SAMURAI BLUE vs China PR National Team
Match venue: Khalifa International Stadium (Doha)
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