Japan begin preparation camp for World Cup

With the 2010 World Cup finals only three weeks away, Japan’s World Cup squad started their preparations on Friday at a training camp in Saitama Prefecture.

In a two-hour session, the players went through various drills and did some physical training. Junichi Inamoto, Daisuke Matsui, Keiji Tamada and Atsuto Uchida trained separately as they are recovering from injury.
“As we don’t have much time left, we have to make the most of our sessions and have good preparatory training,” Japan coach Takeshi Okada said.
In a meeting before the session, the 53-year-old coach asked his players to focus on the things they need to improve and communicate well to increase understanding with each other.
“I told our players: We are now heading to the World Cup and this is our chance to make a challenge on the wonderful stage that is the World Cup. What we should do now is not worry about the results in the tournament, but focus on the things we need to improve. The communication within the squad will mean much more from now on.”
Okada also noted that it will be important for each player to be fully aware of their roles and to increase their motivation for success in the tournament.
The Japan coach disclosed that he has appointed three-time World Cup goalkeeper Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi of Jubilo Iwata as the captain of his squad.
“Having good communication between the players will be important from this stage on, and I am hoping that Yoshikatsu will be the leader for that,” Okada explained.
Japan will play Korea Republic on Monday evening (kickoff at 7:20 p.m.) at Saitama Stadium in a Kirin Challenge Cup friendly match, the first of three warm-up matches.
Asked about the Korea game, Okada said, “We cannot afford to lose to them twice. We will go for the win.” Japan lost to Korea Republic 3-1 in the East Asian Championship.

The Samurai Blue will then play England on May 30 in Graz, Austria, and Ivory Coast on June 4 at Sion, Switzerland, before heading to South Africa.
The Japan squad will train in George, their base during the tournament, to get ready for their Group E opening match against Cameroon in Bloemfontein on June 14. The Samurai Blue will then play the Netherlands on June 19 in Durban before meeting Denmark on June 24 in Rustenburg.

Squad (23 members):
Goalkeepers—Seigo Narazaki (Nagoya Grampus), Eiji Kawashima (Kawasaki Frontale), Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi (Jubilo Iwata)
Defenders—Yuji Nakazawa (Yokohama F. Marinos), Marcus Tulio Tanaka (Nagoya Grampus), Yuichi Komano (Jubilo Iwata), Daiki Iwamasa (Kashima Antlers), Yasuyuki Konno (FC Tokyo), Yuto Nagatomo (FC Tokyo), Atsuto Uchida (Kashima Antlers)
Midfielders—Shunsuke Nakamura (Yokohama F. Marinos), Junichi Inamoto (Kawasaki Frontale), Yasuhito Endo (Gamba Osaka), Kengo Nakamura (Kawasaki Frontale), Daisuke Matsui (Grenoble), Yuki Abe (Urawa Reds), Makoto Hasebe (Wolfsburg), Keisuke Honda (CSKA Moscow)
Forwards—Keiji Tamada (Nagoya Grampus), Yoshito Okubo (Vissel Kobe), Kisho Yano (Albirex Niigata), Shinji Okazaki (Shimizu S-Pulse), Takayuki Morimoto (Catania)
Coach—Takeshi Okada