While Japan are preparing their Toulon Tournament 2017 opener against Cuba (Monday, 17:00 at Aubagne), we’ve had an exclusive interview with Masanaga Kageyama ahead of their first game in this competition.
You are here for only few days. Is it difficult to acclimate to the heat as well as to the difference of time zone ?
We have arrived just two days before. Therefore, I can’t say, our players’ conditions are perfect, that’s impossible. However, the conditions are getting better, day by day. I think that coming two days before our first game is enough. If we arrived here one week before, it would be more than perfect but we don’t need that. Two days, it’s perfect.
Compare to the last year, the Japan team is younger. Do you think that will make a difference in comparison to the other participants ?
The team which came here last year was the U23 team that played the Rio Olympics. I’ve heard from the head coach, that it was very hard to compete with some kind of strong teams in the world like England for example. This year, we came with our U19 team and I’ve heard that the other nations will come with their U19 or U20. I believe we can compete much better than the last year.
In observing the training, we have the feeling that there is a good atmosphere in the group. Do you think it can be an asset during the Festival ?
The atmosphere of our team is quite good. The character of each player is very unique, very bright. So, I didn’t do anything to create this good atmosphere !
Tokyo will host the Olympic Games in three years. Did you come here in order to prepare this event ?
Yes exactly. Some players of our team have the potential to play the Olympic Games, so they have a good motivation to compete here in the Toulon Tournament.
Amayes Brahmi and Mathieu Lauricella