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NEWSニュース

2018.01.18 クラブ

Tokyo Verdy Announces New Squad for 2018 Season

Today, Tokyo Verdy held a press conference to announce its new squad for the 2018 season. With continued cooperation from the International Sports Promotion Society, who supported the club throughout last year, the conference was held at Shinjuku’s Keio Plaza Hotel. Manager Lotina was on hand, along with the full roster of players and coaches, including the club’s new signings, and it was a great opportunity to get a look at the team that will compete in the upcoming season.

As part of the unveiling of new uniforms for 2018, players Tatsuya Uchida (1st kit), Naoto Sawai (2nd kit), Takahiro Shibasaki (GK 1st), Hiroyuki Takeda (GK 2nd), Kouta Watanabe (training gear), Ryota Kajikawa, and Shogo Hayashi (official suits) took part as models. The unveiling also revealed the club’s main partners for the new season.

At the close of the conference, all players and staff took the stage in uniform for the announcement of squad numbers. We are pleased to note that the room was packed with members of the media, partners, and supporters who gathered for a look at the new team.

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The following is a transcript of comments from those who participated in the event.

【Comments from inaugural press conference: Hideyuki Hanyu】

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“Good afternoon, everyone. First of all, I would like to thank Chairman Handa from ISPS HANDA, who for the second year running have provided us this magnificent stage to launch our latest journey. If I may be bold enough to say so, since I arrived at Tokyo Verdy and became entrusted with care of the club in 2011, the team we have created this year has the potential to be the strongest of my tenure. That is the only way to describe the quality of players and coaching staff who are gathered at the club now. In order that this feeling of expectation be fully realized, and not end as a mere feeling, we would like to join with all of you from today to work hard until the end of the year.”

“It is also important to note that we will be supported by a wide variety of people from ISPS. Our connections in this area continue to expand every year. Along with our links to the local region, our relationship has grown deeper, broader, and larger in scale. For a club like ours that does not have a parent company, we grow more aware, every day, of just how important that is. In any sense, we begin this year with a great feeling of expectation, as my heart pounds with anticipation. Myself included, I hope that this will be a year that those of us at the club will enjoy and that can be enjoyed by all of you.

――Could you tell us what sort of PR initiatives the club has planned for this year in order to increase crowd size at home, as well as your target for total visitor numbers?  
“While it has been gradual, we do feel that our fan base is growing every year. We have also felt that our hometown support has grown. In terms of having a target for total gate size, we are not presently thinking of a specific number that must be achieved. Rather, we believe it is important that we have a gradual, yet steady, broadening of the circle. I also note that the environment surrounding the club has changed greatly and we have seen a significant increase in the interest of potential sponsors. I believe that success stems from the commitment we have made to a steady management philosophy over these past few years and we have no intention of changing that now. I don’t suppose that this actually answers your question, but let me just say that we will continue, steadily, down the path that we have travelled thus far.”

【Comments from Inaugural Press Conference: GM Kazuhiko Takemoto】

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“Let me begin by thanking all of our supporters, sponsors, and the members of the media who took time from their busy schedules to be with us here today. At the time we invited Coach Lotina to become manager, the club had come off an 18th place finish and yet, this past season, we were able to progress to a fifth-place finish and take part in the promotional playoff. In that season, I believe we took significant steps forward toward building the core of a successful team. Over the next year, we must prepare for J1 by further refining that foundation, build quality competition within the squad, and achieve promotion.”

“The players assembled here must build on the positives from last season and address the negatives. They must work with Coach Lotina and his staff to make the necessary adjustments and achieve a positive sense of rivalry. Joining us in this task will be a number of new players that should contribute to the further strengthening of the team. All in all, Verdy approach the 50th anniversary of our club’s founding with ever growing momentum. Those 50 years represent a rich history that stands out, even among other Japanese clubs, and it is thus our hope that we can celebrate that 50th year by competing on the main stage of J1. We also cannot forget that Tokyo will be the host city of the Olympics in 2020. It is our hope that Verdy players will be selected for the Japan national team that competes in that event. This goes for Beleza and the Nadesico Japan Women’s team as well. In doing so, let us become a club that the city of Tokyo can truly be proud of. Over the next year, let us fully confront the challenge of building competition within the squad and compete with the other clubs in J2. We look forward to your support. Thank you very much.”

【Comments from Inaugural Press Conference: Manager Miguel Ángel Lotina】

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“First off, I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to the President and the technical staff for their continued trust. I’d also like to express my gratitude to them for bringing us a wonderful group of new signings. Next, I would like to say thank you to the players who fought alongside us last season but are no longer with the club. There were players who retired and some who moved to other clubs. I believe that all of them played tremendously well for the team and have solidified their own place within Verdy’s history. All of them contributed to the result we achieved last year. To the new players, as well, I have gratitude to you for joining the team. I hope you will take pride in playing for such a legendary club.”

“To the volunteers and sponsors, thank you for your support of the club. Lastly, to the fans and supporters, I expressed my thanks to you many times over the last campaign. There is no possible way we could have achieved the results of the past year without your support. I believe that you will show us that same support this year. Our goal is to give everything we have to make you proud to be a supporter of Tokyo Verdy. Thank you again. “

――Could you tell us your team concept or goals for this year?
 “First of all, I would like to note that the new players who have joined us received their offers after I judged that they would fit well with our play model. This is a very important point. The most important elements of our play model, approach, and philosophy are technique and tactical understanding. Our objective for this year is to grow as a team. That is unchanged from last year. I believe that the better we play, the more chances we will have to win. The key to that is continued growth; it is the work that we put in on a daily basis. We have respect for all the other teams in this league, but I believe it will be important that we play without fear and impose our style on every match.”

――After spending your first year with the team last season, can you offer your impressions of Japanese football and what is needed for Verdy to achieve promotion?
“Without a doubt, I have a greater understanding of Japanese football now than at the time of last year’s inaugural press conference. My impression of Japanese football is that it is full of wonderful players. From the universities, there are many talented prospects emerging every year. In terms of technique, tactical understanding, and conditioning – especially in terms of technique and conditioning – Japanese players are at a very high level. With regard to tactics and clarity of the fundamentals of the game, I do think there is room for growth. Tactical understanding is something that I and my coaches make a point of demanding from this team. I do not want to erase what is positive about Japanese soccer. Rather, my work is to add tactics to that mix. Week after week, last year, the goal I discussed with the players was always the same – to win the next match. This year, I have told them that it is important to also focus more on their day to day training and work. The key to our success is to achieve growth on a daily basis.”

【Comments from new signing; GK 21 Naoto Kamifukumoto】

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“My name is Naoto Kamifukumoto and I have just completed a permanent move to Verdy from Oita Trinita. The only thing on my mind is to fulfill the role that is asked from me and achieve promotion to J1. I hope to receive your support in the coming year.”
 
――What are your impressions of Tokyo Verdy and what sort of play do you want to contribute?
“Since the founding of the J League, Verdy has been the nation’s most famous club and a team that carries the promise of victory. That is the club we must be. I have come here to make that happen.”

【Comments from new signing: DF 13 Yusuke Higa】

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“Good afternoon, everyone. I’m Yusuke Higa and I’ve arrived here from JEF. Together, let us make the journey to J1. Thank you for your support.”

――What are your impressions of Tokyo Verdy and what sort of play do you want to contribute?
“Verdy has always been a club that belongs in J1. I came here because I wanted to play to the maximum of my abilities.”

【Comments from New Signings: DF 2 Masashi Wakasa】

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“Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Masashi Wakasa and I transferred here from JEF United. I will give everything I have to achieve the goal of promotion to J1. I hope to receive your support.”

――What are your impressions of Tokyo Verdy and what sort of play do you want to contribute?
“I believe that it is a club with a proud tradition. Whenever I have played against Verdy in the past, it always felt like the crowd was on the pitch with them. This year, I want to play, myself, in that atmosphere.”

【Comments from new signings: DF 17 Lee Yong-Jick】

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“Good afternoon, everyone. I’m Lee Yong-Jick and I have transferred here from Kamatamare Sanuki. I will do anything that is asked from me to help Verdy reach J1. I hope to receive your support.

――What are your impressions of Tokyo Verdy and what sort of play do you want to contribute?
“When I was a child, my first club was a team called FC Ruy Ramos Vejitto.” Ramos himself had lent the club his support at the time it was founded. For me, now, to be able to play for Tokyo Verdy, the club that Ramos loved more than any other, is a true honor.”

【Comments from new signings: MF 24 Yuta Narawa】

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“My name is Yuta Narawa and I arrived here from Shonan Bellmare. My goal, the goal of the team, and I believe the goal of everyone here, is the same and that is to achieve promotion to J1. I will work hard over the next year to achieve that goal. I hope to receive your support.”

――What are your impressions of Tokyo Verdy and what sort of play do you want to contribute?
“I grew up in Yokohama, so the presence of Verdy was always nearby. As everyone has already said, it’s a strong team with a proud tradition. I felt that when I played against Verdy last year and I will work hard so that I can experience that support for myself this year.”

【Comments from new signings: MF 16 Yuhei Sato】

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“Good afternoon, everyone. I’m Yuhei Sato and I arrived from Montedio Yamagata. I hope to receive your support this year and I will work hard to achieve the club’s goals.”

――What are your impressions of Tokyo Verdy and what sort of play do you want to contribute?
“I’m attracted to the club’s style of possession soccer. I came here because I felt I could help the team grow in that area.”

【Comments from new signing: MF 26 Kazuma Takai】

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“Hello everyone. I am very happy to be able to play for this club. I came here to achieve promotion to J1. Thank you for your support.”

――What are your impressions of Tokyo Verdy and what sort of play do you want to contribute?
“It’s a club with a proud tradition. I’m an attack-minded player, so I hope to contribute in that area and help the club reach J1.”


【Comments from new signings: MF 29 Shunsuke Mori】

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“I’m Shunsuke Mori and I’m here from Albirex Niigata. I hope that I can use my strengths to contribute to the goal of promotion to J1.”

――What are your impressions of Tokyo Verdy and what sort of play do you want to contribute?
“I believe that Tokyo Verdy has a rich history. As a starting point, I just want to give everything I have on the pitch.”

【Comments from new signings: FW 11 Ryohei Hayashi】

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“Hello everyone, it’s great to be back home. I’m Ryohei Hayashi and I have green blood running through my veins. I am very happy to be given the chance to return to this club after nine years. I will do everything I can to help the team reach J1, so please provide me your support.”

――What are your impressions of Tokyo Verdy and what sort of play do you want to contribute?
“I was trained by the club from the time I was a small child, so for me, it really does feel like home.”

【Comments from new signings: GK 34 Ko Hasegawa】

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“Good afternoon, everyone. I’m Ko Hasegawa and I have just joined the team from Nippon Sport Science University. In my four years of college, there is not a day that went by when Verdy wasn’t on my mind. I am truly happy to be able to play for such a club. I hope to have your support from now on, in good times and bad.”

――What are your impressions of Tokyo Verdy and what sort of play do you want to contribute?
“When I was in pre-school, I used to go the Verdy training grounds to watch the team practice. That’s how much of a fan that I am. It’s a true joy for me to start my pro career at such a club and after joining the team, I hope to express myself as a player by achieving results.”

【Comments from new signings: MF 35 Kanya Fujimoto】

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“Hello everyone. I’m Kanya Fujimoto and I was just promoted from the youth team to the top squad. I want to give everything I have to help Verdy achieve promotion to J1. Thank you for your support.”

――What are your impressions of Tokyo Verdy and what sort of play do you want to contribute?
“Verdy has been one of the leading teams of the J League since its early years. It’s been a long road, but I will work hard so that five years and ten years from now, the club is competing in the upper reaches of the league.”