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HOME > SAMURAI BLUE > KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2014 10/10 TOP > NEWS > Japan national squad begin Niigata training camp


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Japan national squad begin Niigata training camp

07 October 2014

Japan national squad begin Niigata training camp

SAMURAI BLUE Japan men’s national squad began their activities in Niigata on Monday for their Jamaica match of this Friday in the 2014 Kirin Challenge Cup at Denka Big Swan Stadium and international friendly against Brazil of next Tuesday in Singapore.
A total of 17 players, including midfielder KAGAWA Shinji of Borussia Dortmund, who joined the national team for the first time since this summer’s FIFA World Cup, and midfielder HOSOGAI Hajime of Hertha BSC Berlin, who was called up in September as well, were assembled and worked out for about an hour and a half.

Despite a bad weather with temporary rain because of a typhoon, some 300 fans filled the stands, the players went through menus that mainly focused on recovery, such as passing drills, stretches and running. In foot volleyball games, in which they were divided into three-man teams, the players enjoyed the time, giving cheer with each other.

AC Milan forward HONDA Keisuke, FC Internazionale defender NAGATOMO Yuto and Sporting midfielder TANAKA Junya did not arrive in time because their flights were delayed with the typhoon, while Nagoya Grampus midfielder TAGUCHI Taishi, who was called up after Southampton FC defender YOSHIDA Maya withdrew due to an injury, didn’t make it in time also due to the delay of the Shinkansen. The four players and 1.FSV Mainz 05 forward OKAZAKI Shinji and Standard Liege goalkeeper KAWASHIMA Eiji were scheduled to join the main squad from Tuesday’s practice.

"It’s the best to be able to watch the players while we are winning," said head coach Javier Aguirre, whose Japan finished their two games in September with a draw and loss and will enter their third match in Friday’s Jamaica game. "We want to look for our first win against Jamaica."


Javier AGUIRRE, Head Coach
We want to again watch our players in these two games, and it’ll be the best while we are winning. Niigata is a place that I competed as the head coach for Mexico in the 2002 FIFA World Cup, and I have a lot of good memories in this town. And I am going to look for my first win as the Japan coach against Jamaica here. And we want to develop our performance. That is especially the case for our defense, but we have got to have better combinations offensively as well. It was unfortunate that two of the players we chose originally wound up not coming here, but the players who substituted them have have high abilities and for them this is a good chance.

MF  KAGAWA Shinji (Borussia Dortmund)
As the members as well as our staff have changed, I feel that there’s some tension in our mood. I want to take communications (with our head coach) through this training camp and talk about what kind of things coach is thinking. As our World Cup ended up that way for us, it gave a lot of issues with myself and my football. I want to face the game based on it. I can’t afford to repeat the chagrin. I only think about how I can help the team win and act to realize it. I want to improve taking actions actively.

DF  SHIOTANI Tsukasa (Sanfrecce Hiroshima)
We only had some recoveries and didn’t have genuine practice, so I am looking forward to our activities from tomorrow. I watched the two games in September and had an impression this team played fast laterally. I am not sure where I’ll end up being placed, but I was thinking watching those games that if I get to play a center back position, I’d want to fees lateral passed so I could turn on the switch on our offense. This system with an anchor man is different from what we do with Hiroshima, so I want to get used to it as soon as possible, and I hope to exhibit my own game with composure no matter what position I will play at.

DF  SUZUKI Daisuke(Kashiwa Reysol)
It doesn’t matter if I was called up additionally, I only focus on putting up what I can do. This national team has a standard four-back system and I think I will be asked to control the defensive line elaborately, and I will be observed my basic defensive attitudes, such as winning the ball against a opposing player, while I need to show my warrior spirit. Those are actually my strengths, so I just hope I can put up my traits, not trying to overdo things and think too much.

FW  HAVENAAR Mike (Cordoba CF)
Because I’ve not really been playing in contests, plus I needed to develop my conditioning, I remained there until the end (after the team practice finished). I often get to be called up when I’m not doing so greatly, and for this time I am not doing so good on the team, so I want to do things positively and hopefully I can turn things around for me. Because the national team is still in the establishing process, a lot of players have chances. Yet you just never know how many times you have those chances, so I want to showcase myself from the very first time.



  • Javier AGUIRRE, Head Coach

  • MF  KAGAWA Shinji 

  • DF SAKAI Gotoku


Kirin Challenge Cup 2014

Friday, 10 October 2014 vs Jamaica National Team Niigata/DENKA BIG SWAN STADIUM
Kick Off at 19:25 (estimate time) / Open 16:25 (estimate time)
more information

International Friendry Match 10/14

Tuesday, 14 October 2014 vs Brazil National Football Team
Singapore/The Singapore National Stadium
<Local Time>Kick Off at 18:45 (estimate time) <Japan Time>19:45 / 
<Local Time>Open 17:00 (estimate time)
more information

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