The J.League’s newest class of players continued their education this week in the second and third days of the annual Rookie Symposium.
Players began the second day with a surprise quiz on the rules of the game and a speech by Joji Kashihara of the Japan Football Association refereeing department. The former referee spoke of the importance of fair play in its various forms, including showing respect for opponents and playing until the referee’s whistle.
Next came “PR Communication,” with players receiving strict instruction on representing themselves and their clubs to the media. Group work included simulated interviews following hypothetical wins and losses.
The audience was then lectured on risk management, with a particular focus on the use of social media and its effect on public image.
“I learned a lot of things I need to watch out for so today’s lectures were very helpful,” said high school graduate and Jubilo Iwata newcomer Koki Ogawa. “If I play well then I will have more opportunities [to speak to the media]. By slightly changing my facial expression when I speak, fans watching television will get a different impression of me.”
Gamba Osaka midfielder Ritsu Doan, who made his league debut as a Type-II player last season, also gained much from the symposium as he looks forward to beginning his second year with the club.
“I heard a lot of stories from my teammates last season, and it’s been good to heard them reinforced as well as learn new things,” the 17-year-old said. “I use Twitter myself and I hope I can use it to improve my value.
“Since I joined the youth academy I was always told to consider the worst possible scenario before acting, and now I understand that I have to have self-awareness in all aspects of my life, not just football.”
The third and final day saw players lectured on their tax responsibilities as well as the league’s anti-doping policies before the symposium concluded.