U-22 Japan National Team hold official training and press-conference at EDION Stadium Hiroshima ahead of KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2019 match against U-22 Colombia National Team
17 November 2019
On Saturday 16 November, one day before the match against the U-22 Colombia National Team at the KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2019, coach MORIYASU Hajime of the U-22 Japan National Team appeared in a press conference at the match venue, EDION Stadium Hiroshima, and expressed his aspiration, “I want the players to give their very best performance.”
This match at the KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2019 will serve as a training match for the U-22 Japan National Team ahead of next year’s Tokyo Olympics. Following this match in Hiroshima, the team will play another match in Nagasaki. With the team scheduled to play in the two cities who were affected by the atomic bomb, the JFA will launch the “BLUE PEACE DAYS" project during this period.
Led by coach Arturo REYES, the U-22 Colombia National Team have advanced to the quarterfinals of this year’s FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019. They are currently building their team ahead of the South American qualifiers for the Tokyo Olympics and definitely a force to be reckoned with.
Ahead of this match coach Moriyasu mentioned, “For some of these U-22 players, I haven’t worked with them in a while, so I want them to showcase a performance that makes me think they have improved and gotten stronger over the time. I hope they show high motivation and mentality in the match tomorrow.”
The Japanese coach also commented on players like KUBO Takefusa (RCD Mallorca), DOAN Ritsu (PSV Eindhoven), and ITAKURA Kou (FC Groningen), who have played with the SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team), “I want them to utilise their experience with the senior team while making the adjustments to this team’s concept.” The coach followed up by stating, “I need them to run and fight for this team. They just need to continue with what they are doing with the SAMURAI BLUE.”
On the other hand, U-22 Colombia National Team’s coach Reyes mentioned, “All we know is that Japan has played a fantastic match against Brazil. Japan is a strong and dynamic team, who is capable of shutting down their opponents.” The Colombian coach continued by stating, “This match against Japan will give us a wonderful opportunity to find out where we currently stand in the world.”
Before entering the official training session, the players wore their newly designed jerseys and took a team photo. The training session was open to the media for the first 15 minutes, where the players went through their warmup routines, while the two goalkeepers went through their own drills to prepare for the match.
After getting his first call-up to the U-22 Japan National Team, Doan commented, “This will be my first match with this team and there are many players I have never played with. I am sure there will be difficult times, but we just need to challenge ourselves throughout the entire 90 minutes.” Goalkeeper OSAKO Keisuke (Sanfrecce Hiroshima) shared his excitement to play at his club’s home stadium, “This is the stadium I normally play, so I am looking forward for this match.”
The KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2019 match between the U-22 Japan National Team and the U-22 Colombia National Team will kick-off at 12:50 on Sunday 17 November at EDION Stadium Hiroshima.
Coaches and Players' Comments
MORIYASU Hajime, Coach of U-22 Japan National Team
We are excited to have the U-22 Japan National Team’s first domestic match held here in Hiroshima, at EDION Stadium. I want the players to showcase their best performance and strive to earn a victory to make our fans and supporters happy. In our press conference to announce the squad for this KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2019, I mentioned that I have selected the best possible players at this age category. Our goal is to win the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics, and we are building our team towards that goal. In tomorrow’s match, we hope to showcase a performance that can highlight our presence to our supporters.
GK #1 OSAKO Keisuke (Sanfrecce Hiroshima)
This is a stadium I normally play at, so I am very excited for this match. The expectations are high for this Olympics generation and we are aware that results are demanded from us. Despite facing a strong team like Colombia, we are confident in our abilities and we will strive to earn positive results.
MF #7 DOAN Ritsu (PSV Eindhoven)
In tomorrow’s match, we just need to challenge ourselves throughout the entire 90 minutes. Rather than counting the numbers of our mistakes, we hope to showcase a match where we see growing numbers of positive plays. Our focus is to keep high possession of the ball, so we must play with composure and keep the ball moving. Our team’s system will function best when the attacking midfielders make plays facing the opposing goal, so I will focus on making plays like that upfront.
MF #10 MIYOSHI Koji (Royal Antwerp FC)
I am happy to play a match in Japan, especially after playing so many matches abroad in the under-age categories. This will be a great opportunity to make ourselves noticed by the people in Japan. I always consider these national team matches as a chance to showcase my abilities. Compared to the matches I play in Belgium, this match is anticipated by many people in Japan, so I feel like we are being tested in this match.
MF #22 SUGAWARA Yukinari (AZ Alkmaar)
Not only is it important for the starting members, this match is a huge match for the entire team. We hope to showcase our style of football while sending the message of world peace through this match. I personally think that my strengths lie on my ability to add layers to the offence, so I hope to showcase my strong points in this match. Since arriving in the Netherlands, I have focused on the defensive aspects of my game, so I will do my best to win the one-on-one battles.
ARTURO ERNESTO REYES MONTERO, Coach of U-22 Colombia National Team
All we know is that Japan has played a fantastic match against Brazil. I have watched that match, but it is not an easy thing to win a match against Brazil at their home. Japan is a strong and dynamic team, who is capable of shutting down their opponents. This match against Japan will give us a wonderful opportunity to find out where we currently stand in the world.
|Mon. 11 November||16:00||Training|
|Tue. 12 November||9:30||Training|
|Wed. 13 November||16:00||Training|
|Thu. 14 November||PM||Training Match vs Sanfrecce Hiroshima|
|Fri. 15 November||9:30||Training|
|Sat. 16 November||PM||Official Press-conference/Training Session|
|Sun. 17 November||12:50||KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2019
vs U-22 Colombia National Team (EDION Stadium Hiroshima)
*The schedule is subject to change due to the team condition, the weather, etc.
U-22 Japan National Team vs U-22 Colombia National Team
Match Date: Sun. 17 November 2019 12:50
Match Venue: EDION Stadium Hiroshima, Hiroshima
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