Clubs speak ahead of 2017 J.League kickoff

Clubs speak ahead of 2017 J.League kickoff

The 2017 J.League Kickoff Conference took place on Monday afternoon in downtown Tokyo, with managers and players from all 54 J1, J2, and J3 League clubs participating in streamed presentations and media interviews.

In the opening event, players from each J1 club discussed their team’s outlook for the season and the upcoming 2017 MEIJI YASUDA J1 League opening round:


Vegalta Sendai vs. Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo (Yurtec Stadium - Feb 25, 14:00 JST)

Tatsuya Masushima (Vegalta Sendai): “It’s been about a month since camp started but I’ve gotten used to the team and I’m having fun. This is my first transfer in a long time so I want to discover what I can do for the team and earn results.”

Hiroki Miyazawa (Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo): “It’s exciting for Hokkaido to return to the J1 and we want to work hard to meet the expectations of our supporters. We want to play hard in each match and earn results.”


Shimizu S-Pulse vs. Vissel Kobe (IAI Stadium Nihondaira - Feb 25, 14:00 JST)

Ryohei Shirasaki (Shimizu S-Pulse): “A lot will be expected of me as the new No. 10, and I want to work hard to meet those expectations. I want to help my teammates score goals and help the team win.”

Junya Tanaka (Vissel Kobe): “There’s good mood in the squad. We have a lot of very skilled players and want to work hard to win a title.”


Sanfrecce Hiroshima vs. Albirex Niigata (Edion Stadium - Feb 25, 14:00 JST)

Toshihiro Aoyama (Sanfrecce Hiroshima): “If we play disciplined Hiroshima-style football we’ll get results. Our goal is to win the championship, but as challengers we have to win one game at a time.”

Kazunari Ono (Albirex Niigata): “As a team we involve everyone on both sides of the ball, and we need to increase our precision and earn results. This is my first year as captain and if I play well the team will play well, so I intend to push myself hard.”


Sagan Tosu vs. Kashiwa Reysol (Best Amenity Stadium - Feb 25, 14:00 JST)

Daichi Kamada (Sagan Tosu): “This will be my third season at the club so I hope we can achieve good results and end the season well.”

Shinnosuke Nakatani (Kashiwa Reysol): “I want to work hard to stop Daichi (Kamada) in the opening game. We want to work hard and finish in the top three so we can play in the AFC Champions League next year.”


Cerezo Osaka vs. Jubilo Iwata (Yanmar Stadium - Feb 25, 15:00 JST)

Kenyu Sugimoto (Cerezo Osaka): “We’ve gotten a lot of attention since Hiroshi Kiyotake returned, but that means there’s even more pressure on us to achieve good results. My goal is to score in every match and help the team win.”

Kota Ueda (Jubilo Iwata): “(Since Shunsuke Nakamura joined the club) we’ve had a lot more media and fans coming to training, and that’s given us reason to focus on improving in training. I want to help create plays in the middle of the pitch and be involved in setting up goals.”


Omiya Ardija vs. Kawasaki Frontale (NACK5 Stadium - Feb 25, 16:00)

Keisuke Oyama (Omiya Ardija): “I’ve been watching Kengo Nakamura since I was young and always wanted to be like him, so I’m happy for the chance to play him. I want to work hard so we can win.”

Kengo Nakamura (Kawasaki Frontale): “The bar is raised for me after winning the league MVP last year, but that’s just more motivation for me and I want to stand on (the J.League Awards stage) again as a member of the J1 champions.


Gamba Osaka vs. Ventforet Kofu (Suita Stadium - Feb 26, 17:00)

Jungo Fujimoto (Gamba Osaka): “Our style hasn’t changed. I want to play well this season and contribute to the team’s victories.”

Yuki Horigome (Ventforet Kofu): “This year our slogan is ‘Progress’ and that’s what we want to accomplish this season. Our supporters have high expectations and I hope I can meet them.”