New players called up for Nadeshiko’s Algarve Cup trip

 Japan women’s coach Sasaki Norio included a number of new players in his squad for next month’s Algarve Cup campaign in Portugal when he announced his lineup on Monday.
 The new faces include forward Tanaka Mina of NTV Beleza and Tanaka Yoko of INAC Kobe, both of whom were promoted from the bronze medal-winning team at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Japan 2012.
 Defender Kado Yuka of Okayama Yunogo Belle, attacker Ogawa Shiho of JEF United Ichihara -Chiba Ladies and Kuno Fubuki of Iga Football Club Kunoichi also won call-ups to the senior side.
 Some of the Nadeshiko’s better-known players were absent from the squad, including midfielders Sawa Homare of INAC and Miyama Aya of Okayama, and forwards Ohno Shinobu and Ando Kozue.
 “I sidelined some of our experienced players this time as I want these new players to gain some experience and see how they fit into our squad,” Sasaki explained.
 He assessed the players in a training camp earlier this month.
 For the likes of Tanaka Mina, who is the regular player for the Under-19 team, Sasaki said working with the senior team would “help them inspire the Under-19 side when she returns.”
 “It’s a friendly tournament, but as the world champions we cannot afford to play poorly,” Sasaki commented. “I hope our younger players can learn our game and skills from our Nadeshiko players and develop their game so they can add depth to our side during this coming tour.”
 Making their third straight appearance at the annual women’s tournament, Japan will play Norway on March 6 and Germany on March 8 at Bela Vista Munic Stadium in Parchal, and Denmark on March 11 at Algarve Stadium in Group A.
 Group B features the United States, Iceland, Sweden and China, while Group C is made up of Hungary, Mexico, Wales and hosts Portugal.
 The classification matches will be held on March 13.
 The 23-member Japan squad will get together on February 25 to start preparing for the tournament before flying to Portugal on March 1.

Goalkeepers?KAIHORI Ayumi (INAC Kobe Leonessa), KUNO Fubuki (Iga Football Club Kunoichi), YAMANE Erina (JEF United Ichihara -Chiba Ladies)
Defenders?IWASHIMIZU Azusa (NTV Beleza), SAMESHIMA Aya (Vegalta Sendai Ladies), ARIYOSHI Saori (NTV Beleza), KAWAMURA Yuri (JEF United Ichihara -Chiba Ladies), OSAFUNE Kana (Vegalta Sendai Ladies), KADO Yuka (Okayama Yunogo Belle), KUMAGAI Saki (1.FFC Frankfurt)
Midfielders?KAWASUMI Nahomi (INAC Kobe Leonessa), TANAKA Asuna (INAC Kobe Leonessa), UTSUGI Rumi (Montpelier HSC), YAMAZAKI Marumi (Albirex Niigata Ladies), NAKAJIMA Emi (INAC Kobe Leonessa), TAKASE Megumi (INAC Kobe Leonessa), TANAKA Yoko (INAC Kobe Leonessa)
Forwards?OGIMI Yuki (1.FFC Tribune Potsdam), OGAWA Shiho (JEF United Ichihara -Chiba Ladies), NAGASATO Asano (1.FFC Tribune Potsdam), OTAKI Ami (Olympique Lyonnais), KYOKAWA Mai (INAC Kobe Leonessa), TANAKA Mina (NTV Beleza)
Coach?SASAKI Norio (Japan)