SAMURAI BLUE work with full squad
08 October 2014
The Japan men’s national team, dubbed SAMURAI BLUE, entered the second day of their training camp in Niigata on Tuesday and practiced with all the 23 members, adding six players including AC Milan forward HONDA Keisuke who all arrived late because of a typhoon, to prepare for their matches against Jamaica in the 2014 Kirin Challenge Cup and Brazil in an international friendly.
As the typhoon had passed and a fine weather came back, the 20 field players, excluding the goalkeepers, were divided in to some groups and went through some menus including passing drills of 6-on-2 and 6-on-3 and shooting practice with crosses.
After that, the team, now divided into two groups, played a 5-on-5 mini game, for which the estimated 5,000 fans who observed it from the stands gave them applauses and cheers to make it a lively atmosphere.
Like Honda, FC Internazionale defender NAGATOMO Yuto and Sporting midfielder TANAKA Junya, Nagoya Grampus midfielder TAGUCHI Taishi also arrived at the camp late due to the delay of trains with the typhoon. "It was the worst start (for a first-time national team player),’’ Taguchi said. "This is my first time, so I hated to be here late.’’ Yet he showed some active moves, like making a shot from where he had nearly no angle to the goal in the mini game.
Meanwhile, 1.FSV Mainz 05 forward OKAZAKI Shinji, who got there from Day 2 along with Standard Liege goalkeeper KAWASHIMA Eiji due to their club schedules, did not show his fatigue from a long trip back to the country but nimble moves, making some goals.
The national team is scheduled to face Jamaica on Friday at Denka Big Swan Stadium and take on Brazil next Tuesday at Singapore National Stadium.
FW HONDA Keisuke (AC Milan)
Though I came here late, but majority of the members are ones that I played last month, so it was easier for me to confirm our plays with them. It’d be the best if I can put up what I feel at the club here at the national team. But there are issues that we need to be on the same page understanding things with the teammates, plus we have little time left to tune up, so we have to decide our priority list and act accordingly with it. After the World Cup, I’ve been in the process of creating my own scale from zero, but I’ve for sure changed my way of thinking by almost 180 degrees compared with me of before the tournament. As long as me concerned, I look to be a guy who can be an individual threat up front, instead of being a game maker. It’s been Japan’s advantage that we create out-numbering situations passing the ball, but at the same time it has also been our issue that we can’t move the ball unless we outnumber our opponents in the last several years. In order to resolve it, the Japan national team have to step forward. And when we make that our strength, I think we can make our national team attractive for the fans.
MF SHIBASAKI Gaku (Kashima Antlers)
It’s nothing different in terms of the tension I feel, but I’ve gotten used it better than the last time. Continuing from the last time, I need to make others understand my game and since it’s a short period in this training camp, I want to deepen our understandings every single day. Being an inside half man, I have to run up and down the field, making the distances with the anchor guy, side backs, guys who are playing wide, and a single forward, otherwise opponents get the ball and we are not going to make our system work, so I want to work as hard as I can.
MF TAGUCHI Taishi（Nagoya Grampus）
Because it’s my first time, I thought I’d try to have fun. I’m asking others when I have something I don’t know, and they teach me so well. I’ve never played with Honda or Nagatomo and they are those whom I’d watched on TV, so it makes me feels likes, "Man, I get to play with these guys.’’ But I want to be myself, not thinking too much.
FW OKAZAKI Shinji (1.FSV Mainz 05)
I don’t know if I’m in a better condition or not, but my body is moving and I can challenge on other guys, so I am trying to increase the volume of what I can do. My brain dwelled upon scoring last year, but this year I’m playing thinking what I should do to give our team some rhythm. It’ll all be depending on how much I can contribute to the team, when they are trying to win games. I’ve been able to make shots with ball that come to me, so now I want to make shots with balls teammates ask me to do something and that’ll be the standard of my growth level.
FW HONDA Keisuke
MF SHIBASAKI Gaku
MF TAGUCHI Taishi
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)
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)
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