Kashima Antlers manager Masatada Ishii and defender Gen Shoji spoke of their excitement to reporters on Thursday ahead of next month’s Suruga Bank Championship 2016 IBARAKI.
The Kashima Stadium residents will host 2015 Copa Sudamericana winners Santa Fe from Colombia on August 10. They will be looking to reclaim the title after having won the championship in 2012 and 2013.
“Santa Fe are one of Colombia’s most historical clubs, and as representatives of Japan we want to play hard against such a strong team and win this championship for a third time,” said Ishii.
“It will be my first time playing against a South American club,” added Shoji.
“I’m excited for the match but I also understand that we’re representing our not only Kashima Antlers but also the country of Japan.
“We hope to use this match to demonstrate the strength of Japanese clubs, so we want to prepare well.”