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U-23 Japan National Team now at official hotel, official practice facility

10 January 2016

U-23 Japan National Team now at official hotel, official practice facility

After arriving at the tournament’s official hotel on the previous day, U-23 Japan National Team had the first practice at the designated practice facility.

Coach TEGURAMORI Makoto mentioned it as "the practice to launch the last four-day stretch to the first match". With midfielder ENDO Wataru, who had been sidelined due to flu, back on the pitch, the full 23-man squad took on this day’s training. First they started off with aerobic training to warm themselves up. After working in pairs on ball controlling, they tackled 6-on-4 possession drills to end the morning session. Refreshed after the day off on the last day, the players ran around crisply on the pitch.

The afternoon began with passing and controlling drills in groups of five. Then, the squad went on to review the way they possess the ball, work in formations and finish in the 6-on-4+4+6 format. Their vocal communication on the pitch to make sure combinations increased the level of urgency felt on the pitch. To wrap up the day’s practice, they played the line-passing game in the end.

Four more days are left before the first match to play in the AFC U-23 Championships (Rio de Janeiro Olympics Asian Qualifiers Final). Only an afternoon session is scheduled on 10 January.

Coach and Players' Comments

TEGURAMORI Makoto, Coach
Finally we have got the full squad. Now we are at the designated hotel, we got our captain back, and I feel that our excitement level for the tournament is getting higher. We still want to polish the way we defend cross balls and carry out more intense scrimmages before the first match. We have got the same hotel as our opponents, and some of the players said it’s bigger than they had expected. Small preparation like that is important. Next two days, we will work out with similar tension to the tension we play matches with. Then the day before the match will be spent for more relaxing stuff.

DF #15  KAMEKAWA Masashi (Avispa Fukuoka)
I am in Qatar with close to the best condition possible because I started working out with the national team right after our J.League season ended. We held Vietnam scoreless, but we had some situations where we made mistakes and gave away crucial chances to the opponents. If we do that in the final qualifiers, it changes the whole course of a match. So we need to improve it as a team.

With the players arriving from overseas, and it’s our first time to have the complete 23 players. But most of us have worked together for long already, so I felt the depth in each play we made. We failed to score in the last Qatar and UAE trip, but we were able to score goals and won the last two matches. So as the preparation for the final qualifiers, it was good.

As a defender, it’s the minimum requirement to hold opponents scoreless. But we have to take risks and send more players up front to score goals. So if I see a chance, I want to go up without hesitating it. The momentum my club Avispa Fukuoka had last season and all the supporters who supported it helped me be where I am now. So I want to leave good results to show my appreciation to them and to repay them for their support.

DF #5  UEDA Naomichi (Kashima Antlers)
I played for 45 minutes in the Syria match. It was good that we could hold them scoreless in that stretch. There were many situations where we pushed forward into their end, but in the situations like those, it’s important to manage the risk. I played with my mindset that I wouldn’t stop my concentration even for a single moment.

The goal allowed through a set-piece in the second half is something we as a team need to correct, and I want to keep working on it together with my teammates in this limited amount of time left. Our play speed after robbing the ball has improved greatly, so we want to make it even better to the level where we can say that it’s one of our strengths.

Checking in at the designated hotel made me feel stronger that now it’s really starting. My focus level is getting hither. We now need to get our conditioning and team’s overall readiness up enough for the match. That’s the important key. We want to make sure to get ourselves ready.

MF #3  ENDO Wataru (Urawa Reds)
I was happy to touch the ball after a while. It’s a positive thing on our way to the final qualifiers that we beat Syria and Vietnam. But my impression was that my teammates did not get overexcited with the wins and maintained their composure.

In the final qualifiers, there should be both good stretches and bad stretches in the entire 90 minutes. So it’s important for us to read the flow of the match, control it and keep playing simply on the ball. Our game plan is to attack forward after robbing the ball and increase the number of plays forward the opposing goal. I think it is falling into places.

Of course we have to pay attention to keep the ball moving, but our team is getting accustomed to making direct plays. My personally, I have to get my conditioning ready. So I will focus on it as my preparation for the first match.

JFA-TV (Japanese version only)

  • Interview - UEDA Naomichi (Kashima Antlers)

  • Interview - ENDO Wataru (Urawa Reds)

  • Interview - KAMEKAWA Masashi (Avispa Fukuoka)


Sun. 3 January PM Training
Mon. 4 January AM/PM Training
Tue. 5 January PM Training
Wed. 6 January 2-1 International Friendly Match vs U-23 Syria (@Al Ahli Stadium)
Thu. 7 January 2-0 International Friendly Match vs U-23 Vietnam (@Al Ahli Stadium)
Sat. 9 January AM Training
Sun. 10 January PM Training
Mon. 11 January AM
Official training (@Grand Hamad Stadium)
Tue. 12 January PM Training
AFC U-23 Championship Qatar 2016
Wed. 13 January 16:30 Group Stage 1st Match vs U-23 DPR Korea
(@Grand Hamad Stadium)
Thu. 14 January AM Training
Fri. 15 January PM Training
Sat. 16 January 16:30 Group Stage 2nd Match vs U-23 Thailand
(@Grand Hamad Stadium)
Sun. 17 January AM Training
Mon. 18 January 17:45 Official training (@Suhaim Bin Hamad Stadium)
Tue. 19 January 16:30 Group Stage 3rd Match vs U-23 Saudi Arabia
(@Suhaim Bin Hamad Stadium)
Wed. 20 January AM Training
Thu. 21 January TBC Official training (@tbd)
Fri. 22 January 16:30

Knock-out stage  Quarter-Finals (If Japan top the Group)
(@Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium)
Knock-out stage  Quarter-Finals (If Japan 2nd the Group)
(@Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium)
Sat. 23 January AM Training
Sun. 24 January PM Training
Mon. 25 January PM Training
Tue. 26 January 16:30

Knock-out stage  Semi-Finals (If Japan top the Group)
(@Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium)
Knock-out stage  Semi-Finals (If Japan 2nd the Group)
(@Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium)
Wed. 27 January AM Training
Thu. 28 January PM Training
Fri. 29 January 17:45 Knock-out stage  3rd/4th-Place Playoff
(@Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium)
Sat. 30 January 17:45 Knock-out stage  Final
(@Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium)
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