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18/02/2014

Nadeshiko coach Sasaki hoping to see rise of young players

 Preparing for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup in May, Nadeshiko Japan coach Sasaki Norio on Monday said he is hoping to see the breakthrough of younger players into the senior team.
 In announcing his squads for the Algarve Cup in Portugal and the La Manga International Women’s U-23 Tournament in Spain, both slated for early next month, Sasaki said he was pleased with some of his younger players.
 “After having seen some good youngsters at our recent trial camps, I was tempted to bring them in to the Nadeshiko side,” he said.
 Sasaki held a four-day Nadeshiko trial camp with a group of 45 players aged between 18 and 25 in Kumamoto earlier this month, including some who helped Japan to a bronze-medal finish at the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
 Sasaki’s Nadeshiko squad leans heavily on players who play overseas, together with the likes of Sawa Homare, Miyama Aya, Kumagai Saki and Ogimi Yuki. He added one young player, Miyake Shiori, for the Algarve Cup.
 “I thought about the fact that we will have a limited time ahead of the tournament in May,” he explained. “However, if the younger players do well at the La Manga tournament, they have a good chance of being named for the senior side in May [for the Asian Cup.]”
 At the Algarve Cup, the women’s senior team will play the United States on March 5, Denmark on March 7 and Sweden on March 10.
 The Japan U-23 women’s side will play the United States on March 1, Norway on March 3 and England on March 5 in the La Manga International tournament in Spain, under the guidance of Nadeshiko Japan assistant coach Nakamura Jun.
 “At the Algarve Cup, we will aim to win the title,” Sasaki stated. “I also want our experienced players to make a case for their places. This competition is one leading to next year’s World Cup. I will assess our players closely in the two tournaments at the Algarve and La Manga as I want to form the best possible squad for the tournament in May.”
 The Women’s Asian Cup will serve as a qualifier for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.