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HOME > SAMURAI BLUE > EAFF East Asian Cup 2015 TOP > NEWS > Halilhodzic expecting rise of new faces – EAFF East Asian Cup squad announcement


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Halilhodzic expecting rise of new faces – EAFF East Asian Cup squad announcement

24 July 2015

Halilhodzic expecting rise of new faces – EAFF East Asian Cup squad announcement

SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team) coach Vahid HALILHODZIC unveiled his squad on 23 July for the EAFF East Asian Cup 2015 starting on 2 August as he expressed his hopes for the tournament, saying "I want to bring back the trophy."

The 23-men squad is consisted of players who currently play in Japan, including seven new faces under the reign of Halilhodzic.

Shonan Bellmare defender and Olympic National Team captain, ENDO Wataru, defender YONEKURA Koki (Gamba Osaka) and midfielder KURATA Shu (Gamba Osaka) were selected for the first time. Another new comer midfielder MUTO Yuki, KASHIWAGI Yosuke, who was selected for the first time since 2012, and KOHROGI Shinzoh, who withdrew from the two March matches this year, were all called up from J.Leauge first stage champions Urawa Reds.

20-year-old forward ASANO Takuma (Sanfrecce Hiroshima) and YONEMOTO Takuji (F.C.Tokyo) join the national team through the shortlisted squad camp in May 2015.

While midfielder YAMAGUCHI Hotaru (Cerezo Osaka), who was listed on the World Cup squad last year after selected for the first time two years ago when Japan won this upcoming tournament, and defender MORISHIGE Masato (F.C.Tokyo), who has 22 caps, come back to the team, 18 of them have made less than 10 international appearances each, including Gamba Osaka attacker USAMI Takashi.

Halilhodzic hopes for the rise of new faces with an eye on the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers resuming in September, saying "To stay on the national team, I want them to show off their value and competency."

The team will leave for Wuhan a day after the J1 League week on 29 July. After having training there, they will face DPR Korea on 2 August, Korea Republic on 5 and host country China PR on 9.

The Japan boss says the competition takes place on the road for Japan. And he assumes a tough condition – high temperature and humidity. "It's hard to win on the road. With courage and determination, we need to show off strong mentality," he said. "We've already analysed the opponents. It's going to be a tough contest, but we will try to win and bring back the trophy."


Vahid Halilhodzic, Coach of SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team)
We are preparing three kinds of systems for the upcoming tournament and I selected players according to them. We will take seven new players, so I'm looking forward to new findings. Pursuing a good outcome, I'm trying to find a new force at the same time, and it's a good test for players playing in Japan. 

I want them to keep their motivation high and make a good preparation before getting together. I will see if they are capable and get ready for the next camp in September.

We don't have any opportunity to work on tactical training before leaving Japan. Thinking about the climate in Wuhan, players' fatigue and travel, the tournament is going to be tough, but I want to get something under our belt. We need to adapt to the environment there and play three matches in a short term.

I want to play as many players as possible, and they need to show off strong mentality with courage, determination and aspiration to win because the competition takes place on the road. I think the opponents will challenge us very hard on one-on-one situations, but we also need to handle it, committing ourselves to physical contacts. We will try to win and bring back the trophy.

SHIMODA Masahiro, Chairman of JFA Technical Committee
In the last tournament two years ago, a couple of players who turned in great performances were selected to the FIFA World Cup squad in the end. I have confidence that the players working domestically will battle it out again with country's pride and responsibility as a Japanese international.

JFA-TV (Japanese version only)


Fri. 31 July 19:00 Official Practice (Wuhan Sports Center Training Ground1)
Sat. 1 August PM Training
Sun. 2 August 18:20 vs. Korea DPR
(Wuhan Sports Center Stadium)
Mon. 3 August AM Training
Tue. 4 August PM Training
Wed. 5 August 18:20 vs. Korea Republic
(Wuhan Sports Center Stadium)
Thu. 6 August AM Training
Fri. 7 August PM Training
Sat. 8 August PM Training
Sun. 9 August 20:10 China PR
(Wuhan Sports Center Stadium)

EAFF East Asian Cup 2015

Sun. 2 August - Sun. 9 August
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