Asia FIFA World Cup

Japan Confident of Doing Well in U-17 World Cup

Reigning U-17 Asian champions Japan have voiced their confidence that they will do well in the upcoming 2023 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Indonesia.

Japan head coach Yoshiro Moriyama revealed to that his side is raring to go with the U-17 World Cup only weeks away, despite being drawn in a tough group alongside Argentina, Senegal, and Poland.

“Very confident. I feel the team is ready to face the challenge to achieve something. They want to win and win convincingly,” said Moriyama.

Moriyama was undeterred by the prospect of Japan’s opponents, with Argentina being the South American U-17 bronze medalists, Senegal being the champions of Africa for the U-17s, and Poland having been featured in the most recent U-17 Euros.

“Ideally, we want to advance from the group stage and make the players experience all seven matches up to the final,” said Moriyama, “Similar to the 2019 tournament, the players have been drawn into a tough group. However, on the other hand, this gives them a great opportunity to test themselves against the best.”

Japan had called up a squad consisting almost entirely of J.League players, with only four – Rento Takaoka, Gaku Nawata, Yumeki Yoshinaga, and Katsuma Fuse – coming from high school teams. The young Samurai Blue’s star players were Ryunosuke Sato and Yutaka Michiwaki, with the two having bagged playing minutes for the senior teams of FC Tokyo and Roasso Kumamoto respectively, while the other players had represented their respective J.League clubs at youth level.

Moriyama’s charges had arrived in Indonesia since November 1st, taking part on a week-long training camp at the Bali United Training Centre in Purnama Beach, Sukawati, Gianyar. There the young Samurais will play a series of friendly matches, before departing to Jakarta on November 7th. Upon arriving at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, the Japan U-17 team will head straight to Bandung, where they will play their group stage matches at the Si Jalak Harupat Stadium in Soreang.