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U-24 Japan National Team reset their mindsets towards the Olympic

20 July 2021

U-24 Japan National Team reset their mindsets towards the Olympic

On Monday 19 July, the U-24 Japan National Team held their training session at the designated training facility of the Tokyo Olympics.

With their match against the U-24 Spain National Team in the KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2021, the U-24 Japan National Team concluded their training camp which started on Monday 5 July. The team has now entered the jurisdiction of the Olympics, as JFA Technical Director SORIMACHI Yasuharu, who has the experience of leading a team into the Beijin Olympics, commented, “We have finally arrived. The players seem to be relaxed, as they have plenty of international experience. We should be fully prepared when we enter Tokyo Stadium.”

It has been reported that Japan’s first opponent, South Africa, has announced that two of their players have tested positive for COVID-19. Many questions were asked regarding this matter during the online press-conference, but the Japanese players seemed to be calm, shown in the comments of ENDO Wataru (VfB Stuttgart), “We knew heading into this tournament that this was a possibility. We are just hoping that the matches will be held safely. For the meantime, we just need to give our best to prepare for the match.”

On this day, the team took part in the FIFA Team Arrival Meeting, which was held online in the morning, where the players went through the tournament regulations and integrity briefings. The team then held their training session in the evening to work up a sweat.

Players’ Comments

DF #20 MACHIDA Koki (Kashima Antlers)
It feels like the moment has finally arrived, and I am getting very excited. The Olympic village is operating with the support of many volunteers, and we feel very grateful to all the people who are making this event possible. Their presence has given me extra motivation to do well at this Olympics. The fact that we were given the opportunity to play a prep match against a wonderful team like Spain has helped us tremendously. Regardless of the situation, I will give my best effort to prepare myself so that I can help the team when I am needed. When playing in international competitions, there are strikers with various physiques, habits, and characters, so I will focus on identifying the opponent’s style from their first play and try to gain advantage over them.

MF #6 ENDO Wataru (VfB Stuttgart/Germany)
I am getting the sense that we are about to get started. Although we are surrounded with the Olympics’ vibe, it is not going to change how we enter the tournament. The fact that the over-age players were able to join the team in June was huge. Through the training sessions, I have been able to thoroughly prepare myself while providing guidance to my teammates. The Rio Olympics was the first international competition for me, but now that I have experienced the Olympics and played in the Bundesliga, I am much more confident as a player. I will do my best to fulfil my duty as an over-age player and try to provide mental support to my teammates.

MF #10 DOAN Ritsu (PSV Eindhoven/Netherlands)
At this point we just need to get ourselves mentally prepared and enter the match with a clear mind. I am fully focused on my performance. I strongly believe that sports exist for the fans. As an entertainer, we need to do our best to entertain our fans, and that is the mentality I always carry regardless of how big the competitions are. We are so grateful to have our fans, and I will always strive to be the best entertainer on the pitch.

Games of the XXXII Olympiad (Tokyo 2020)

Football competition: Wed. 21 July - Sat. 7 August 2021

Tournament Information

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