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Japan-Mekong U-15 Football Exchange Programme co-hosted by Japan Foundation Asia Centre and JFA - Day 3 (7/3)

04 July 2015

Japan-Mekong U-15 Football Exchange Programme co-hosted by Japan Foundation Asia Centre and JFA - Day 3 (7/3)

The Japan-Mekong U-15 Football Exchange Programme had its last day on 3 July and the final matches to decide the ranking of the programme took place. This is the final chance for each team to decide their result of the programme, and so each team played even more intensively. 

The players seemed to be tired at times probably due to matches they had in the short space of time of this programme, but they still played consistently showing their pride as squad players of each country. FIFA Referees came to judge these final matches and the atmosphere became more like an International Match. The players had another motivation that made them even more serious and intensive in the matches. 

In one of the matches which was decided by a penalty shoot out, the losing team showed their upset by collapsing on the pitch or by crying. One foreign audience who came to watch another game on previous day said, “all players did their best and it was exciting to watch”.

After all the matches had been played, a reception party was held and all teams from South East Asian Countries showed their cultural songs and dance. Contrary to the intensive matches they had, all the players from participating countries enjoyed cultural exchange by dancing together and teaching their language to each other. 

JFA General Secretary HARA Hiromi attended the reception and showed his warm welcome to Japan and appreciation for their hard work for this exchanging programme. 

Head Coachs' Comments

IKI Yusuke, Head Coach (U-15 Cambodia National Team)
I always think about making the players that will have international experience hence I appreciate this opportunity very much. It was very meaningful for the players to know what they can and cannot do by playing against other countries.

18 months ago, we had a similar experience and at that time the number of conceded goals went up to double digits. This time we have got to know that we have progressed to nearly the same level as the other teams, and that made us even more confident. Now we have to step our level up more in our technique, tactics, and fitness. We will keep working hard. 

Surayudh Laohakanjanasiri, Head Coach (U-15 Thai National Team)
We couldn’t spend more than 1 week to prepare for this programme in Japan, so we couldn’t show 100% of what we can. However, all players did their best. I understand deeper now that they play very seriously even it is like an instant team that doesn’t have a long time to prepare. 

Dinh The Nam, Head Coach (U-15 Viet Nam National Team) 
This is a very beneficial experience for the players, so I hope that this event will take place every year. This exchange programme allowed the players from all countries to learn well from each other through the matches. I think our players grew up technically and mentally due to each match experiences. 

By joining the programme, I think the players got to understand their level. They had the chance to see Japanese play as well as the other South East Asian countries. As a proverb says, “Seeing is believing ”, I think the players knowledge and football perspectives have been broadened. 

JFA-TV (Japanese version only)

Japan-Mekong U-15 Football Exchange Programme Overview

The Japan Foundation Asia Center has arranged for each participating team, invited to Japan, to stay in Japan until 5 July after the football tournament. The young players will experience some Japanese culture, such as Japanese calligraphy in Tokyo, to deepen their understanding and to get to know the culture.
Date: Wed. 1 July to Fri. 3 July 2015
Location: J-GREEN SAKAI (145 Yawata-machi, Chikko, Sakai-ku, Sakai, Osaka)
More information

Participating Teams

Group AGroup B
U-15 Japan National Team U-15 Laos National Team
U-15 Vietnam National Team U-15 Myanmar National Team
Vissel Kobe U-15 Sanfrecce Hiroshima F.C. Junior Youth
U-15 Cambodia National Team U-15 Thailand National Team

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