Kashima Antlers star Yuma Suzuki is keen for his side to defend their MEIJI YASUDA J1 League title this season ahead of its kick-off.
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.
2016 Japanese champions Antlers defeated Urawa Reds in the final of last year’s J.League Championship and impressed on the road to the Club World Cup final.
And Suzuki is confident about their chances in the new season and their opener against FC Tokyo, as long as they treat their opponents from the capital with respect.
“FC Tokyo have terrific players up front, but we have a strong defense that transitions into a strong attack, and we’ll win if we can make that transition work,” he said. “We have a great squad this year and want to win every title.”
Yoshito Okubo, who joined from Kawasaki Frontale, added: “Kashima Antlers are a steady side and our squad has changed a lot this off-season.
“We want to take this challenge on; it will be a difficult match but a lot will depend on what result we earn. We have nothing to lose so we want to prepare well.”
The clash will take place at Kashima Stadium on Feb 25, 14:00 JST.