Halilhodzic’s selects maiden Japan squad for Tunisia test

Halilhodzic’s selects maiden Japan squad for Tunisia test

Newly-appointed Japan coach Vahid Halilhodzic has unveiled a 31-man squad for the upcoming international fixtures at the end of March.


Among his selections on Thursday for the friendlies against Tunisia and Uzbekistan were 18 players currently playing for J.League clubs.


Gamba Osaka defender Hiroki Fujiharu received his first senior call-up, although his captain and Japan record appearance holder Yasuhito Endo is a high-profile casualty.


Halilhodzic took over the Samurai Blues in March and was spotted scouting FC Tokyo players at the weekend while being present for Wednesday’s Yamazaki Nabisco Cup tie between Kawasaki Frontale and Nagoya Grampus.


An additional 10 J.League players have been selected as backup members in the event of unforeseen circumstances such as injuries.


Japan will face Tunisia on 27th March in Oita before welcoming Uzbekistan on 31st March in Tokyo.


Below is the list of 28 players called up from J.League clubs:


Masaaki Higashiguchi (Gamba Osaka)
Shusaku Nishikawa (Urawa Reds)
Shuichi Gonda (FC Tokyo)
*Akihiro Hayashi (Sagan Tosu)


Hiroki Mizumoto (Sanfrecce Hiroshima)
Tomoaki Makino (Urawa Reds)
Masato Morishige (FC Tokyo)
Kosuke Ota (FC Tokyo)
Hiroki Fujiharu (Gamba Osaka)
Gen Shoji (Kashima Antlers)
*Kazuhiko Chiba (Sanfrecce Hiroshima)
*Tsukasa Shiotani (Sanfrecce Hiroshima)
*Daisuke Suzuki (Kashiwa Reysol)
*Shintaro Kurumaya (Kawasaki Frontale)


Takashi Usami (Gamba Osaka)
Yasuyuki Konno (Gamba Osaka)
Toshihiro Aoyama (Sanfrecce Hiroshima)
Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka)
Gaku Shibasaki (Kashima Antlers)
*Takuji Yonemoto (FC Tokyo)
*Shogo Taniguchi (Kawasaki Frontale)
*Kotaro Omori (Gamba Osaka)


Shinzo Koroki (Urawa Reds)
Yu Kobayashi (Kawasaki Frontale)
Kensuke Nagai (Nagoya Grampus)
Yoshinori Muto (FC Tokyo)
*Yohei Toyoda (Sagan Tosu)
*Kengo Kawamata (Nagoya Grampus)

(* Indicates backup squad)