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HOME > National Teams > NEWS > U-23 Japan National Team hold official practice session at opening match site


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U-23 Japan National Team hold official practice session at opening match site

12 January 2016

U-23 Japan National Team hold official practice session at opening match site

With just two days to go until the match against DPR Korea, the turning point of the long trip to the South American soil, U-23 Japan National Team intensified their training in a two-a-day training on 11 January.

The morning session included their first closed-door practice session under the TEGURAMORI reign (excluding for facility reasons.) To get the first win, the Teguramori men went through their detailed tactics.

In the afternoon, the squad visited Grand Hamad Stadium, where they will play their opening match. And the 23-man squad had a photo shoot before the training session, having prepared themselves for the big match with determined looks. After spending most of 60-minute official practice session's time for set-pieces, the squad capped the training of the day.

One of the most relaxing time for the players is meal time. Mr. NISHI Yoshiteru, Samurai Blue's team chef who joined the team on 8 January, cooks dinner for young men. As soon as with the phrase "Itadakimasu," the players rushed to "Mr. Nishi's corner" as fast as they can. The time gives them an opportunity to let loose their furiousness on the pitch and show carefree smiles. Enjoying the Japanese taste, they restored their energy.

There is only a day left until their opening match against DPR Korea at AFC U-23 Championship (Rio de Janeiro Olympics Asian Qualifiers Final) At 4:30 p.m. (10:30 Japan Time), the door to the world stage will start opening for young Samurais.

Players' Comments

MF #3  ENDO Wataru (Urawa Reds)
Coach Teguramori shared various attacking options with us. Going forward after winning the ball is what we lacked, and we worked on that consciously so that that part is getting through well. Above that, if we can show our strength possession, we can develop something good. I've just got over from flu, but I'm actually in good form. After coming back to practice, I thought I would be sluggish, but I'm feeling lighter than expected.

My condition is getting better as we worked hard for the past two days. The team's mood is getting better as we worked together, and our tactics have also been refined. All we need to do is just battle it out with confidence. To go home with a ticket to the Olympics, we will win the first match and work hard to get momentum as a team.

MF #10  NAKAJIMA Shoya (F.C. Tokyo)
I think DPR Korea are putting intense pressure on us and the match will be very intense. Not caring too much about the fact that the match is between Asian countries, I will try to simply enjoy football. I will try to think about the best play that leads us to goal and we will improve the quality of the decision-making. Creating a lot of shooting chances is my strength. It's of course good to score on a single chance, but I will try to create more of it. It's important to create opportunities of good combinations and breakthroughs just as we always play and then enjoy football.

MF #18  MINAMINO Takumi (Salzburg/Austria)
I think I'm improving how to challenge on an opposing player and win the ball. I will try to show them on the pitch. The best thing to do is simply running in space behind the defenders and getting a goal. Whenever I get such a chance, I always tell my teammate with the ball where the space I'm trying to look at. If I have a chance to play, I will go all out to let the team win and try to get a goal or assist.

FW #9  SUZUKI Musashi (Albirex Niigata)
The play to attack behind defenders has got better. We have been able to do it more often and that gives us extra confidence. In the Syria and Vietnam matches, we were able to intentionally attract defenders to the ball, but our passes and the timing of those passes lacked some perfection. So if we can get it better, that will give us goals.

DPR Korea have physically strong and athletic players up front. If we can outplay them in getting second balls, that will create good rhythm for us. So we want to play aggressively there. Also initiating offence myself and penetrating with my dribble are some of my strengths, so I want to stay facing forward and keep attacking.

FW #16  ASANO Takuma (Sanfrecce Hiroshima)
If we can share the same idea, we can break down opposing defence in any way. I think our communication in offence has something good there. Now what’s important is how each one of us can picture on the pitch how we play. I want to enjoy playing as we keep sharing our ideas.

JFA-TV (Japanese version only)

  • Interview - ENDO Wataru (Urawa Reds)

  • Interview - NAKAJIMA Shoya (F.C. Tokyo)

  • Interview - MINAMINO Takumi (Salzburg/Austria)

  • Interview - SUZUKI Musashi (Albirex Niigata)

  • Interview - ASANO Takuma (Sanfrecce Hiroshima)


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)

*Local Time

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