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HOME > SAMURAI BLUE > KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2015 03/27 TOP > NEWS > SAMURAI BLUE begin training under new regime


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SAMURAI BLUE begin training under new regime

24 March 2015

SAMURAI BLUE begin training under new regime

SAMURAI BLUE, Japan National Team, began their first training session under new head coach Vahid Halilhodzic on Monday 23 March in Oita in preparation for the KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2015 match against Tunisia to be held on 27 at Oita Stadium in Oita.

After a brief meeting in the locker room at the practice site, the squad stepped onto the pitch in the twilight and started running together in front of approximately 120 media members and 3000 fans.

Under the cold weather like winter, players and coaching staff ran on the pitch about for 25 minutes. There was a spell when Halilhodzic led the group in front, which apparently showed his enthusiasm for his new duty. The new boss got behind from halfway, but when plenty of fans at the stand gave applause, he responded with waving hands to complete the run.

Since most of the players played a match on the previous day and the players playing for overseas clubs including forward HONDA Keisuke (AC Milan) and midfielder KIYOTAKE Hiroshi (Hannover 96) just arrived after a long trip, the practice was wrapped up after 30 minutes.

While goalkeeper KAWASHIMA Eiji (Standard Liege) and forward OKAZAKI Shinji (1.FSV Mainz 05) join the camp and the practice session on Tuesday due to their club matter, defender NAGATOMO Yuto (FC Internazionale) cancelled participating in this camp to focus on recovery training at his club.

Forward KOBAYASHI Yu (Kawasaki Frontale), who got injured in his league match on Sunday, also does not take part, and KAWAMATA Kengo (Nagoya Grampus) was called up in place of him.

Before starting the session, SAMURAI BLUE’s official sponsor Kirin Group provided the official drink. On behalf of the team, Halilhodzic received a credential list of it from Mr. OCHI Yujiro(General Manager, Oita Regional Office, Kirin Beer Marketing Company, Limited) and Mr. ORIMOTO Futoshi(General Manager of Sales Department Kyushu Metropolis Area Dvision, Kirin Beverage Co., Ltd) who visited to encourage the team.

SAMURAI BLUE continue to adjust their condition there for the new head coach’s debut match against Tunisia.

Players' Comments

MF  HASEBE Makoto (Eintracht Frankfurt)
When your head coach changes, your fighting spirit is also stirred up very much. There are a lot of players called up for this camp and backup members selected for the team. That sends out the message that the Japan national team are regarded as a big group. So thatopens lots of doors for other players. I first want to understand what kind of football the coach is trying to do. There seems to be many meetings and we can learn something out of them. He also told us to discuss with each other and move forward. This is just the beginning.

MF  KAGAWA Shinji (Borussia Dortmund)
First I want to know what kind of football the head coach is trying to do. Then, what’s important is how much me and my team can see our potential, so I will think more about the team than myself. (Under the previous head coach) I wasn’t able to score. I want to develop the offensive side, how I can score to get a win. (Talking about the goal at Dortmund last weekend) I’m not satisfied at all because it was just one match. I will keep this up on the national team as well.

MF  HONDA Keisuke (AC Milan)
The head coach said “I watched your matches at the FIFA World Cup and the AFC Asian Cup. This team is capable to go up to a higher spot. There is a reason why you lose. We need to improve that.” I think it’s good to face an inevitable issue.

JFA-TV (Japanese version only)


  • Interview - HASEBE Makoto

  • Interview - OTA Kosuke

  • Interview - NISHIKAWA Shusaku


Mon. 23 March PM Training
Tue. 24 March PM Training
Wed. 25 March PM Training
Thu. 26 March PM Official practice
Fri. 27 March19:30KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2015  v Tunisia National Team (Oita Stadiuam)
Sat. 28 March AM Training
Sun. 29 March AM/PM Training
Mon. 30 March AM/PM Official practice
Tue. 31 March19:25JAL CHALLENGE CUP 2015     v  Uzbekistan National Team (Tokyo Stadium)


Fri. 27 March 2015
SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team) v Tunisia National Team
Oita Stadium, Kickoff 19:30/Open 16:30
TV Coverage: National live broadcasting on TBS Group

More information


Tue. 31 March 2015
SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team)  v  Uzbekistan National Team
Tokyo Stadium, Kickoff 19:25/Open 16:25
TV Coverage: National live broadcasting on NTV Group

More information

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