Fun-loving Japan hoping to peak at France World Cup

Fun-loving Japan hoping to peak at France World Cup

Fun-loving Japan hoping to peak at France World Cup

Written by Reuters

23 May, 2019 | 11:38 am

Reuters – A fun and relaxed atmosphere prevailed at Japan’s training camp on Wednesday (May 22) as Asako Takakura’s team began their final preparations for the women’s World Cup in France.

The “Nadeshiko” head to France on Monday (May 27) hoping to reach their third consecutive final of the tournament they won in 2011.

Takakura is keen to keep preparations light and enjoyable for her players before the hard work begins in France.

“We will be together for a long time and individually there will be tense moments, ups and downs, so I told the squad let’s enjoy,” Takakura told reporters after the first day of camp in Narashino, near Tokyo.

Takakura is taking a young squad to France with one eye on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and has stressed the importance of building confidence to peak when the tournament starts.

Takakura’s squad average less than 38 caps each with 14 players aged 23 or younger.

The more experienced players in the squad have also welcomed the relaxed atmosphere, which was apparent throughout the training session on Wednesday as players laughed and joked with their coaches in a series of small games.

Takakura has also arranged a training match at the weekend against a local university men’s team.

The world number seven has been drawn in Group D alongside Argentina, Scotland and England, who defeated Japan in the final of the SheBelieves Cup in March.


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