From Pitches in Asia – Report from JFA Coaches/Instructors Vol. 53: TODOROKI Natsuko, GK Coach of Thailand Women's National Team & U-20 Women's National Team
30 June 2021
I travelled to Thailand on 18 March 2021, and after a 15-day quarantine period, I began my activities from 2 April. The first activity I took part in was a 10-day training camp for the Thailand Women's National Team. I started out spending my time trying to analyse the players, such as their personalities and characters on and off the pitch. I also had to understand the outline of the activities held by the Thailand Women’s National Team. I have the impression that the players of the Thailand Women's National Team are very cheerful, athletic, and have aspirations to improve their football skills. On the other hand, they still need to learn the fundamental skills and strategies, leaving plenty of room for improvements in the fundamental aspects, but at the same time, it could be said that they have lots of potential.
As a coach, I feel that there is a language barrier, but it allows me to think of ways to convey my message in an easy to understand fashion, and all the time I spent struggling to hold training sessions and meetings have given me a precious learning experience.
Through my conversations with the staffs and players in Thailand, I am starting to get a grasp on the whole environment surrounding women’s football in this country. In Thailand, there is a women's football league, where league matches are held with eight teams each in the 1st and 2nd divisions. However, the league has not been officially established yet, and most teams are active only when they have matches, so they don’t have sufficient environment to train in a daily basis. Therefore, it is necessary to hold national team training camps for a long period of time in order to prepare for each tournament. But when considering the overall development of women’s football in Thailand, a long-term operation of a women’s football league is essential to promote the sport, develop players, and strengthen the national team. It is also important that we strive to improve the quality of the league over time, so I feel that I need to approach this task from multiple angles.
In terms of my daily life in Thailand, out of the three months since I arrived here, I was either isolated or attending the national team training camp for nearly 40 days, so I haven’t had enough time to get used to the culture and environment here, but the people around me are very kind and they have been helping me get by each day. There are many Japanese people in Bangkok, and there are many Japanese restaurants and stores that sell items from Japan, so it sometimes makes me feel that I am in Japan. National team training camps are often held in places away from Bangkok, so I get to see various animals in a rich natural environment and learn how to coexistence with the wildlife.
I am sure that many things will happen not only in football, but also in my daily life, but I will continue to give my utmost effort to fulfil my duty and help the Thailand Women's National Team achieve their goal of reaching the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023™.
- Referees 2022/12/01 YAMASHITA Yoshimi appointed as the fourth official for Group H match between Ghana and Uruguay at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™
- Referees 2022/11/30 YAMASHITA Yoshimi appointed as the fourth official for Group F match between Canada and Morocco at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™
- National Teams 2022/11/29 SAMURAI BLUE resume training ahead of match against Spain
- Japan Football Association 2022/11/29 JFA renews partnership with The Football Association
- Referees 2022/11/29 YAMASHITA Yoshimi appointed as the fourth official for Group B match between Wales and England at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™