Aguirre, Japan national team gets to work in Sapporo training camp
02 September 2014
The Japan national team, dubbed SAMURAI BLUE, who have recently appointed Javier Aguirre their new head coach, began their training camp in Sapporo for their first game under the new boss against Uruguay in the 2014 Kirin Challenge Cup at Sapporo Dome, taking their first step toward the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
A total of 16 players, who were mostly of the J. League clubs, participated for the first day. Seven others, including forward HONDA Keisuke (AC Milan) and defender NAGATOMO Yuto (Inter Mazionale), who played matches on Sunday in Europe, were set to join it from Day Two.
While some 150 fans observed from the stands, Aguirre assembled the players in the mid-field and told them, ''We are starting up a new project. Our goal is to go to the tournament in Russia in 2018,'' before the team entered their practice.
During the one-hour-and-a-half practice, the players went through light minus that centered on their recovering, including running and moving the balls, considering the conditions of the players who played for their own clubs this past weekend.
The five first-time call-ups, such as forward MUTO Yoshinori (FC Tokyo) and forward MINAGAWA Yusuke (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), seemed to have some jitters at the beginning of the practice, but eventually got loose. They looked relaxed with some laughs when they played 3-on3 foot volleyball games, involving their coaches.
''It's my style to talk mixing up with some jokes,'' said Aguirre, who walked up to the players to exchange some words and was showing some big smiles.
''All the players came here in good conditions. I liked their attitudes very much, too,'' Aguirre said. ''We are going to give them more workload from tomorrow. I want to talk about my desciplines as well.'' The Mexican coach suggested that he intended to get up the speed as all the 23 members are assembled on the second day.
After the Uruguay game on the 5th, the Japan squad will take on Venezuela in their second Kirin Challenge Cup match at International Stadium Yokohama on the 9th.
Javier AGUIRRE, SAMURAI BLUE Head coach
We focused on recovering for the players, yet I think that their attitudes were very good. All the members, including the veterans, young ones and new-comers, went through the practice cooperating well. It's difficult to make one team with just a few times of practices, but you have to battle in this game. I want to ask our players to show their attitudes to fight. I think that all them put up good plays in their matches this past weekend. Whether they scored a goal or not, if they get motivated to be on the national team and eventually can put up great performances, it would be great. I want to observe the players well as a starting point for me and see what they can do as a group. And if there will be things that don't work, we would like to correct them then.
MF SHIBASAKI Gaku（Kashima Antlers）
Today was meant for some recreations and recovering, and I enjoyed it. I came in the training camp with no much of prejudice, but I thought that the mood was just fine. Individually, I want to firmly understand what kind of football the coach and team are trying to play, and hope to absorb it from the practices. That will be important.
MF HOSOGAI Hajime（Hertha BSC・Berlin／Germany）
I want to give some impact, showing what I can do, and I want to do what I can do as best as I can. There are some players who are here for the first time and players whom I'd never had had interactions before, but I want them to play feeling comfortable and I want them to do the best they can. I can learn from them and as we all work hard as best as we can, hopefully, we can develop ourselves as a team. I couldn't got to the World Cup this time, but I received a lot of inspriring messages from those who have supported me. I would like to play these two matches, as if I will give them some paybacks.
FW MUTO Yoshinori（FC Tokyo）
When we got here, I was a little nervous, but our elder players talk to us and it made us to do things easier afterwards. I was able to enter the training smoothly, and after all I really worked out with some fun. But I want to come up with some results in the games, not being satisfied that I have just been called up here, and I want to show my strengths like my dribbling and speed. I am going to showcase myself from the practices, and want to play in the games. That will be my first goal. And if I get to see some actions, I want to score a goal or have an assist.
FW MINAGAWA Yusuke（Sanfrecce Hiroshima）
I was bit nervous in the beginning but I felt it was easy for the first day as team mates, especially Mizumoto senior guy at Sanfrecce, speaking to me casually, I was able to become part of the group. I want to demonstrate the strength, the reason for selecting me for the national team, in the national team. I am trying to play as much as I can and upgrade the quality of play. I know this time I was called up for out-of-blue selection, I hope I can positively break that expectation.
Javier AGUIRRE Head Coach
FW MUTO Yoshinori
DF YOSHIDA Maya
FW MINAGAWA Yusuke
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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