Five new players selected on Aguirre’s first squad, play two Kirin Challenge Cup matches in September
29 August 2014
For the two Kirin Cup Challenge 2014 matches against Uruguay (5 Sep. at Sapporo Dome) and Venezuela (9 Sep. at International Stadium Yokohama), SAMURAI BLUE’s new head coach, Javier Aguirre announced his roster on 28 August, which included five players selected to the national team roster for the first time. The 23-man line-up has 12 players who played in the FIFA World Cup this year and 11 players currently playing in the domestic J.League.
The first-time selections are FC Tokyo FW Muto Yoshinori, Sanfrecce Hiroshima FW Minagawa Yusuke, Vissel Kobe MF Morioka Ryota, Albirex Niigata DF Matsubara Ken and Sagan Tosu DF Sakai Tatsuya. MF Shibasaki Gaku and GK Hayashi Akihiro also made the roster from J.League’s Kashima Antlers and Sagan Tosu respectively.
From European leagues, AC Milan Forward Honda Keisuke, 1.FSVMainz FW Okazaki Shinji, Sporting MF Tanaka Junya, Hertha MF Hosogai Hajime and FC Basel FW Kakitani Yoichiro were selected to play for the team.
Aguirre at the press conference at JFA House emphasised that this is a new project in the making, saying “This is a new beginning from zero.” “I didn’t look at old rosters to select these players. My staff and I watched so many games and selected the players we think best suited for these two matches. We will keep selecting players in the future regardless of their past experience on the national team.” the coach added.
On which players he will play for the upcoming two matches, the new coach said “I will play as many players as possible, hopefully all of 23 in the matches. This is a test that these players have to pass. We have six matches before the Asian Cup, and only those who pass these tests will play in the Asian Cup.” He certainly showed a great deal of expectation from the players for the AFC Asian Cup, where SAMURAI BLUE will play for the back-to-back championship.
When asked how he envisions his ideal team style, Aguirre answered it would be “a team who possess the ball and attack more dominantly than opponents as well as maintain a good balance.” He also answered, “We will take advantage of the whole available space and keep the ball. After we lose it, we will try to get it back immediately. We must be smart and be able to make judgments on what each player at each place on the pitch is supposed to do.”
The team will start their practice on 1 September and get ready for the two matches of the Kirin Challenge Cup. “We will play hard and play to win both against Uruguay and Venezuela. We will show the best football that we possibly can. We don’t have much time to prepare, but our motivation and the quality of the team are already high enough. We will try to get better day by day.” added Aguirre.
The kick-off times are scheduled at 19:25 against Uruguay on 5th at Sapporo Dome and 19:20 against Venezuela on 9th at International Stadium Yokohama.
JAVIER Aguirre, Head Coach of Japan National Team
This is a new beginning from zero. We will tackle this project together as one team. It will be very difficult to show very good football from the start especially only with two or three practices. But from the first match, we would like to show a competitive team that always play hard to win. Our goal for now is to play good football in these matches, get good ideas about these players, and eventually achieve a good result in the Asian Cup. We will try to get better day by day. In a 90-minute match, the ball is in play for the total of 45 to 48 minutes. That means one player touches the ball for the total of 2 minutes on average. So what does he do for the rest of 88 minutes. For that amount of time, we pay attention to how much each player is committed to the team and how responsibly he plays for the team. I am planning to tell my players that this is a new project we start from zero and that we have four years to get ready to play with confidence in Russia.
Hara Hiromi, JFA General Secretary and Technical Director
This Kirin Challenge Cup is the first match after the World Cup and also the first match with Coach Aguirre. We will take every game very carefully until the Asian Cup in next January, and we would like this new national team to play hard to flourish in the world.
KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2014
Friday, 5 September 2014 vs. Uruguay National Team
Kick Off at 19:25 (estimate time)／Open 16:25 (estimate time)
Tuesday, 9 September 2014 vs. Venezuela National Team
International Stadium Yokohama／Kanagawa
Kick Off at 19:20 (estimate time)／Open 16:20 (estimate time)
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