Coach SASAKI Norio describes experience with Nadeshiko Japan as "a treasure"
19 March 2016
SASAKI Norio, the coach of Nadeshiko Japan (Japan Women's National Team) met with the retirement press conference at JFA House on 18 March, describing his years and experience with Nadeshiko Japan as "a treasure".
Coach Sasaki, who has led Nadeshiko Japan since 2008, assembled a team that attacked and defended together with short passes and much stamina. When the team claimed their first title in the FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011, their playing style drew worldwide attention. Then Nedeshiko Japan won the silver medal in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, and showed the level of Japanese women's football to the world.
Although they lost in the Asian Qualifiers Final Round for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics at the beginning of this month, their record is 80 wins, 29 losses, and 16 draws in 125 games, including in the World Cup in Canada last year, when they finished second.
DAINI Kuniya, the President of the Japan Football Association, also attended the press conference to explain that he had accepted coach sasaki’s resignation after the Olympic qualifiers. He gave Sasaki credit for his skill in improving Nadeshiko to become internationally competitive. He pointed out: "teams across the world are now following ‘Nadeshiko’s style’. Coach Sasaki has changed women’s football."
In terms of ‘Nadeshiko’s style’, coach Sasaki explained that he had got the idea from the high quality plays and coordinated movements off the ball when he worked as coach of the U-19 Women’s National Team the year before becoming the coach of Nadeshiko Japan.
He talked about the future of Japanese women’s football: "as the international standard is rising, we must focus on a team strategy, with which we can use individual strengths." He also pointed out the importance of developing junior players and strengthening each generation. He noted: "we need to pass on to the top team what we’ve been practicing continuously to become international players."
Although he described his future as "yet to be decided", he said he’d like to "contribute to women’s football and Japanese football in one way or another."
Coach Sasaki took a look back: "I have been aiming at the world-level with the players, and we achieved relatively good results there. So I believe we can move forward." He also commented: "despite the fact we failed to book a place at the important Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, I myself have had an excellent 11 years as a football coach, which I’ll treasure."
He told the players: "I appreciate that the players have believed in me, even though I didn’t consider myself charismatic. They were disciplined and reliable. I just want to say thank you. Hope they will improve themselves to play internationally."
SASAKI Norio, coach of Nadeshiko Japan (Japan Women's National Team)
I’ve been instructing women players for 11 years, and working as a coach for nine years. I’ve aimed at the top international level with the players and the Japan Football Association. As we have achieved good results internationally, I believe we can move on.
Although we failed to book a place at the important Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, I myself am satisfied with having had an excellent 11 years as a football coach. I’ll treasure that. I also worked as a coach of the U-19 Women’s National Team before, which was ideal for me to be able to move the younger generation up in to the national team. Having learned many things in many respects gave me an excellent experience.
I still don’t know what to do in the future, but I believe all my experience will lead me to somewhere positive in the next stage. I’ll do my best.
DAINI Kuniya, President of the Japan Football Association
Coach Sasaki did achieve excellent results. Although failing to book a place at the Olympics was extremely frustrating, it doesn’t blemish his other achievements. He improved Nadeshiko, so that they could become competitive internationally. Now the world is following ‘Nadeshiko’s style’. I believe that coach Sasaki changed women’s football in that way, which made the Olympic qualifiers more difficult for us. However, I’d like to point out the gravity of what coach Sasaki had achieved. I think we should stick to our playing style in the future.
JFA-TV (Japanese version only)
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