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Teguramori hopes to showcase U-22 Japan's potential in Myanmar friendly

11 March 2015

Teguramori hopes to showcase U-22 Japan's potential in Myanmar friendly

Teguramori Makoto, head coach for the Japan national U-22 squad, spoke to the media on 10 March, one day before their international friendly against Myanmar at Fukuda Denshi Arena in Chiba. It will be the final game for Japan before the AFC U-23 Championship qualifier, which also serves as a qualifier for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. "We want to play a game so we can show our potential to compete in the Olympics," Teguramori said.

In a mid-winter weather with occasional snows, the players worked out for about an hour and a half, checking on their transitions between offence and defense, buildups and defensive plays.

"We're going to have to play games that we can't afford to lose,"Teguramori said. "As the preparation for them, we would like to present a potential that we can make it to the Olympics."

Meanwhile, Myanmar advanced to the final four in the AFC U-19 Championship last year, clinching a berth in the FIFA U-20 World Cup for the first time, and are currently working on developing their younger generations lately. The team for this game consists of players who play for teams that are placed higher in the standings in their domestic league, and is led by head coach Kyi Lwin, who leads Magway FC. Magway currently ranks third in the domestic league. The Myanmar team is in their tune-up phase as they will play against Australia, Hong Kong, and Chinese Taipei in the qualifier.

“We would like to play to the football and strategies our head coach is looking to have, and work on things to prepare for the first qualifying, reflecting on the issues we've come up with," said ENDO Wataru of Shonan Bellmare.

The date for the game, 11 March, will have been exactly four years since the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Regarding the team playing the game on the day, forward SUZUKI Musashi, of Albirex Niigata, said: "The 11 March is a special date to remember as a Japanese citizen. We would like to give some energy to people with the game. This is a good opportunity to show what we've done to them, too, so we would like to play a good football and win it."

Teguramori, a Tohoku native who served as head coach for Vegalta Sendai four years ago, said: ”We hope to send some courage and power to the devastated areas with the power of sports, and show some potential for our future."

In order to clinch the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016, the Japan team will have to qualify through the AFC Under-23 Championship qualifying as the first qualifying, and then the AFC Under-23 Championship, which is the final qualifier.

In the qualifier that will be held later this month, the 43 participating teams will be divided into 10 groups, and the 10 top teams in each groups, plus the top five teams from the group of the second-place finishers, will advance to the AFC Under-23 Championship in next January. Japan will face Macau on 27 March, Vietnam on the 29th and Malaysia on the 31st in the qualifying. The games will be played in Malaysia.

And the top 15 teams will compete in next January's AFC U-23 Championship, along with host Qatar. The top three finishers will earn tickets for the 31st Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in August, 2016.

The international friendly between the Japan U-22 national team and Myanmar U-22 national squad will kick off at 7:10 p.m. on the 11th.

Head Coach and Players' Comments

TEGURAMORI Makoto, Head Coach (U-22 Japan National Team)
We will play an important preparatory game for the Asian qualifier for the Olympics tomorrow. We are going to have to play games that we can't afford to lose, but as the preparation for that, we would like to show games that we can show our potential to be able to compete in the Olympics. Because it's the 11th of March, we hope to send some courage, power, and hopes for the future and potential to the devastated areas with the power of sports, and we've told our players that it's a stage to show those things both socially and humanely in tomorrow's game. Japan's strength is to play collectively. We hope to play a football in which our collectivity works, we're linked with each other and we're really battling against Myanmar.

ENDO Wataru (Shonan Bellmare)
We hope to prepare based on the issues we've come up through games towards the first qualifier, playing to the football and strategies that our head coach wants to have. As we will play on the day of the disaster on 11 March, I think that what we can do is to get in the game in 100 percent effort and finish it with a win. We are saying inside the team that we would like to give as much energy as we can to those who watch us play in person and on TV, by showing how we play. And it is going to lead to better preparations for us towards the first qualifying, and we are hoping that we’re producing as many players who will eventually come through in the A team of the national team as possible.

UEDA Naomichi (Kashima Antlers)
In a short series (like the first qualifying), I am certainly going to look for better results and play in all the games. It's nothing unusual to show your fighting spirit, and there’s no game you can afford to lose. The Olympic qualifiers have already begun, so we hope to put out our heart with the entire team tomorrow towards it.

MATSUBARA Ken (Albirex Niigata)
Our coach told us that each player should look to showcase his own trait while we would certainly look for a win in our final friendly match before the first qualifying as a team. I've got the image of my play; I would like to get the opponents off balance in the middle of the field, run up with a better timing when they come inside, and then look for chances to launch crosses and shots. I've developed my condition at my own club, so I’m looking forward to getting in tomorrow's game with that condition.

OHSHIMA Ryota (Kawasaki Frontale)
It'd be great if we can get in the match with a good image towards the first qualifying, and we've got to qualify through the first qualifying, so before we start thinking of the Olympics, we are going to have to focus on that first. We hope to settle down and play as a whole team. We want to stick to winning, communicating with each other, and I want to be involved in scoring given a chance.

Kyi Lwin, Head Coach (Myanmar U-22 National Team)
For both us and Japan, tomorrow's game will be an important contest as we have the qualifiers of the AFC U-23 Championship. We've only prepared for tomorrow's game for three to four days and that's not enough. We saw Japan crushed Singapore and acknowledge that the Japan U-22 team is one of the best teams in Asia. But we would like to put up our best performance against the opponents. It's a good opportunity for us to play against such a strong team like Japan, and it's a good opportunity for both countries to build a relationship.

JFA-TV (Japanese version only)

  • 3/10 Interview - UEDA Naomichi

  • 3/10 Interview - SUZUKI Musashi

  • 3/10 Interview - OHSHIMA Ryota


Mon. 9 March PM Training
Tue. 10 March PM Pre-Match Training
Wed. 11 March 19:10 International Friendly Match v U-22 Japan National Team(Fukuda Denshi Arena)

*The schedule may be subject to change according to the team condition.

International Friendly Match U-22 Japan National Team v Myanmar U-22 National Team

Wed. 11 March      Kickoff 19:10
Fukuda Denshi Arena, Chiba

Ticket Information(Japanese version only)

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