SAMURAI BLUE holds first training session at Sao Paulo ahead of the CONMEBOL Copa America Brazil 2019
14 June 2019
On Thursday 13 June, the SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team) conducted their first training session at Sao Paulo ahead of the CONMEBOL Copa America Brazil 2019.
After traveling for one and a half day, the team arrived at Sao Paulo in the evening of Wednesday 12. With the support of the local organizing committee, the team was escorted by the police from the airport to their hotel.
On the following day, all 23 players made their ways to the training field to conduct a light training session to loosen up their body. The session was held at the training field of the local club, Sao Paulo FC, and the entire session was open to the public, attracting nearly 450 primary school students and 300 parents.
Regarding the training session, coach MORIYASU Hajime mentioned, “I told the players to showcase a performance that will give dream, hope, energy, and courage to all kids living in Brazil and those who are supporting us.” Most of the people who came to watch the session were kids and parents attending the local Japanese school and families from the local Japanese-Brazilian community, but nearly 100 kids from the Edmilson Foundation, a foundation established by EDMILSON to help build a better future for children and young adults in Brazil via education, training and community development, were also present. The kids attending the training session all wore a SAMURAI BLUE jersey provided by Adidas Japan, and they were allowed to take photos with the members of the SAMURAI BLUE.
The CONMEBOL Copa America Brazil 2019 will kick-off on Friday 14, where Brazil and Bolivia will feature the opening match at Morumbi Stadium in Sao Paulo. The SAMURAI BLUE will face the Chile National Team on Monday 17 at 20:00 local time (Tuesday 18 at 8:00 Japan time) at the same stadium.
Coach and Players’ Comments
MORIYASU Hajime, Coach of SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team)
We have just three days until our first match, and during that time, we hope to go over our strategies and get ourselves on the same page to execute our game plans. The SAMURAI BLUE and the U-22 Japan National Team both shares the same team concept, so I believe that the players can adjust to the team smoothly. We will certainly be facing an up-climbing challenge, but we will strive to win the matches and learn as much as possible through the matches.
GK #1 KAWASHIMA Eiji (RC Strasbourg)
After traveling for a long time, we have finally arrived in Brazil. Although we don’t have much time left, we hope to get ourselves prepared as much as possible ahead of our match. We will fight in behalf of the local Japanese-Brazilian community and showcase a performance that will give courage to the viewers. This is a rare opportunity to face teams from South America in full strengths. We would certainly face some difficult time during the tournament, but I hope to pass on my knowledge and experience to the younger generations to help the team head towards the right direction. We shall not enter the matches just to gain a good experience, but rather enter the matches with the intention to win them all. The first match will be a pivotal match for us, so we hope to showcase our best performance and earn positive results.
MF #8 ITO Tatsuya (Hamburger SV)
Even in a land far away from Japan, I learned that there are many people with Japanese heritage and that many people are supporting us. The players joining the team from the Toulon International Tournament all have something in common and I can tell that the competition level is high even during the training sessions. With the Olympics scheduled just around the corner, we are all trying to survive through the competitions to earn our spot into the final roster. I hope that sense of rivalry will help heighten the overall strengths of the team. Chile is a strong team that can really work hard. They are a well organised team that can fight as a unit. In order to put up a fight against them, each player must give their very best efforts. We must cherish this opportunity to face the South American teams in top form, and fight with the pride and spirit of the Japan National Team.
FW #13 UEDA Ayase (Hosei University)
While we are gathered to play for the national team, we are also here to heighten our individual value as a player. Even if I can’t keep up with the competition level, I need to make this tournament a turning point in my career. I will actively communicate with other players and gain as many learning experiences as possible.
CONMEBOL Copa America Brazil 2019
Tournament Dates: Fri. 14 June - Sun. 7 July 2019
Tue. 18 June 2019, 8:00 (Japan time)
vs Chile National Team
Fri. 21 June 2019, 8:00 (Japan time)
vs Uruguay National Team
Tue. 25 June 2019, 8:00 (Japan time)
vs Ecuador National Team
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