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HOME > SAMURAI BLUE > KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2014 11/14 TOP > NEWS > Uchida, Endo, Konno back with SAMURAI BLUE – Kirin Challenge Cup in November


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Uchida, Endo, Konno back with SAMURAI BLUE – Kirin Challenge Cup in November

06 November 2014

Uchida, Endo, Konno back with SAMURAI BLUE – Kirin Challenge Cup in November

Javier Aguirre, SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team) head coach, announced his 23- man squad on Wednesday for the KIRIN Challenge Cup 2014 matches against Honduras (scheduled on Friday 14th at Toyota Stadium, Aichi) and against Australia (scheduled on Tuesday 18th at Yanmar Stadium Nagai, Osaka), saying “we’ll try to win those two matches with an eye to the Asian Cup.”

While forward Honda Keisuke (AC Milan), forward Okazaki Shinji (1.FSV Mainz 05), midfielder Shibasaki Gaku (Kashima Antlers), defender Morishige Masato (FC Tokyo) and others were selected for the squad again following the matches in October, defender Uchida Atsuto (FC Schalke 04), midfielder Endo Yasuhito (Gamba Osaka) and midfielder Konno Yasuyuki (FC Tokyo) made a comeback after the five months spell since the FIFA World Cup this summer.
Forward Toyoda Yohei (Sagan Tosu), who has scored 15 goals so far in this J.League season, forward Inui Takashi (Eintracht Frankfurt) and goalkeeper Higashiguchi Masaaki (Gamba Osaka) were called up for the first time in the Aguirre reign.

Midfielder Hasebe Makoto (Eintracht Frankfurt), who withdrew from the September camp due to injury, defender Yoshida Maya (Southamptom) and defender Shoji Gen (Kashima Antlers), both of who also failed to join the October camp, and midfielder Kagawa Shinji (Borussia Dortmund), who left the team after the Jamaica match in October were named on the list again.
At the official press conference at JFA House in Tokyo, Aguirre said “the foundation of the team contending for the Asian Cup championship has been completed 80 to 90 percent. The two games will be important to make the final list.”

When asked about Endo and Konno’s call-up, the boss pointed out that “what’s important in football is their quality but not their ages. Both of the players have ample experience and have been showing great performances this season.” He also has high hopes for Uchida saying that “he’s got physical intensity and high individual skill as well as he can fight it out. I want him to add more quality to the team.”

About the opponents, “Honduras will try their best even against Japan, and Australia are the opponents we need to win against at the Asian Cup. The level of both teams is close to the one Japan are at. We’ll win the two games and get confidence for the Australia trip,” expressed Aguirre his enthusiasm.

While the Japan head coach will be temporarily away from the team during the camp starting from 10th due to his attendance in the Mexico Football Hall of Fame ceremony in his home country, assistant coach Stuart Gelling will take up the role at the practices during Aguirre’s absence.
“It’s an honour to get rewarded in my home country. Although I need to leave the team for a while with the JFA’s permission, I’ll be here when we get together on 10th and when we have the official practice session on 13th. We all talked with each other to prevent any issue from arising,” explained Aguirre that they have been prepared to minimise the effect of his absence.
The Honduras match kicks off at 7:35 p.m. on Friday 14th and the Australia match kicks off at 7:20 on Tuesday 18th.


Javier AGUIRRE, Head Coach of SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team)
The upcoming two games are going to be the last opportunity to determine the players ahead of the AFC Asian Cup next January and important to make the final list of the squad. Honduras will try their best even against Japan, and Australia are the opponents we need to win against if we have a game against them at the Asian Cup. We are required to play a good game against any opponents and must win the home game. It’s been three months since I came to Japan, and I’ve begun to understand Japanese players and the J.League better. I know the reason why we couldn’t win against Venezuela last September, and we surpassed Jamaica in the October’s game. I believe the team is heading for the right direction.

SHIMODA Masahiro, Chairman of JFA Technical Committee Strengthening Section
In the last friendly before the AFC Asian Cup next January, we will show you the match where we stick to winning. Honduras and Australia lost at their World Cup group stage, but they started as a new team afterwards. Since Central and South American teams fight out hard, the upcoming Honduras match could be a good contest. Australia is one of the Asian rivals and teams that we may play against at the AFC Asian Cup. I believe these two matches will be the good opportunity to test how the current Japan team can play against such teams.

Kirin Challenge Cup 2014

Fri. 14 November 2014     SAMURAI BLUE(Japan National Team) vs Honduras National Team
Toyota Stadium/Aichi Kickoff 19:35(plan)/Open 16:35(plan)
TV Broadcast: National live broadcast on TV ASAHI

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Tue. 18 November 2014    SAMURAI BLUE(Japan National Team) vs Australia National Team
Yanmar Stadium Nagai/Osaka Kickoff 19:20(plan)/Open 16:20(plan)
TV Broadcast: National live broadcast on FUJI TV

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