Monday, 24 November 2014
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 JPN / Japan - Team Composition  
 
Team manager HAGIWARA, Hideo
Head coach UETA, Tatsuya
Assistant coach OTAKE, Hideyuki
Doctor HAYASHI, Mitsutoshi
Therapist / trainer KUBO, Yoshito
Journalist
 
No. Name Lastname Shirt Name Birthdate Height Weight Spike Block Club
1 Nobuharu SAITO SAITO 29/09/1973 205 95 345 330 Toray Arrows
5   Daisuke USAMI USAMI 29/03/1979 184 88 320 310 Panasonic Panthers
7 Takahiro YAMAMOTO YAMAMOTO 12/07/1978 201 98 345 335 Panasonic Panthers
C 8   Masaji OGINO OGINO 8/01/1970 197 98 340 320 Suntory Sunbirds
11 Yoshihiko Matsumoto Matsumoto 7/01/1981 193 80 340 330 Sakai Blazers
12   Kota Yamamura Yamamura 20/10/1980 205 95 350 335 Suntory Sunbirds
13 Kunihiro Shimizu Shimizu 11/08/1986 192 97 345 335 Panasonic Panthers
14   Tatsuya Fukuzawa Fukuzawa 1/07/1986 189 86 355 345 Panasonic Panthers
L 15 Katsutoshi TSUMAGARI TSUMAGARI 2/11/1975 183 78 320 305 Suntory Sunbirds
16   Yusuke Ishijima Gottsu 9/01/1984 197 102 345 335 Sakai Blazers
17 Yu Koshikawa Koshikawa 30/06/1984 189 87 340 320 JT Thunders
18   Kosuke TOMONAGA TOMONAGA 22/07/1980 184 83 320 310 Sakai Blazers
 C=Captain  L=Libero
Team Profile Coach Profile

With great expectations, Tatsuya Ueta's squad took up the challenge at the World Cup 2007, the first qualifier for the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Unfortunately their results did not meet anyone's expectations -- Japan finished ninth, with three wins and eight losses out of 11 matches.
 
Nevertheless, Ueta and those involved in the Men's National Team were strongly convinced that despite the unsatisfactory result at the World Cup 2007 the players' morale had been boosted and fundamental skills with combined offence had remarkably improved compared to those of several years ago.

Furthermore, the young players, i.e. Yusuke Ishijima, Yu Koshikawa and Kunihiro Shimizu, had gained invaluable experience and confidence during the tournament. Experience is provided by 37-year-old team captain Masashi Ogino, who competed in the Barcelona Games in 1992. After that, though, he spent years away from the National Team because of injury.
 
Ueta's squad was launched immediately after the huge disappointment of the Athens Olympic Qualification Tournament in 2004 -- Japan has not qualified for the Olympics for successive tournaments.

Japan finished eighth at the 2006 World Championship and were satisfied with this result. The goal of Ueta's squad in 2007 was, of course, to secure a berth for the Beijing Olympics in 2008 at the World Cup.

Ueta picked the best players for his squad for the World Cup as well as the World League. The training worked out well and Japan beat two European powerhouses, Italy and France, in the preliminary round.
 
But at the Asian Men's Championship in September in Jakarta, Japan's squad, as the defending champion, threw away the lead and finished runners-up.
  
After this and the World Cup disappointment and having no time to dwell on failure, Ueta's Japan embarked on their next goal -- to secure a berth at the Beijing Olympics at the Olympic Qualification Tournaments in May in Tokyo.

This time they were successful, finishing second behind Italy with a 6-1 win-loss record to advance as the best Asian team in the competition.

In 2004, immediately after the Japanese Men's National Team failed to qualify for the Olympics in Athens, the Japan Volleyball Association appointed as Head Coach Tatsuya Ueta, then coach of Japan's Junior Men's National Team.

Since then, Ueta, who is considered a hardworking and progressive coach, has not only been coaching his squad very hard, but also collecting and studying lots of information from abroad. Consequently, he has built up his present Volleyball philosophy and the success of the national team so far has been entirely due to his efforts.

Tatsuya Ueta was born in Shikoku, the smallest of Japan's four main islands. He started playing Volleyball at the age of 12 and developed into an astute middle blocker. He played Volleyball for high school and university teams and gained a reputation as a good player even in his school days. He joined Nippon Steel Blazers in 1987 and played for the National Team from 1989 to 1993.

He was assistant coach of Nippon Steel Blazers from 1995 to 1998, and Head Coach of Nippon Steel's successor, Sakai Blazers, from 1999 to March 2001 before joining the Japan Volleyball Association as coach of the junior men's national team.

His goal was to compete in the Olympics in Beijing and this aspiration was the motivation for his squad. In order to achieve this goal, he worked to improve his squad.

Although Japan's squad ended up ninth at the FIVB World Cup in 2007 -- this result disappointed everyone -- the JVA decided to let Ueta lead the National Team and pinned their hopes on Ueta guiding his players to Beijing.

Ueta has been discovering weaknesses in the team throughout all of the recent competitions and studying how to correct them and how to improve his team. He believed that Japan would have no chance to go to Beijing without solving those problems. He was rewarded when Japan claimed the Asian Beijing berth at the Olympic qualifier in Tokyo, Japan, in June, the first time they had qualified for the Olympics in 16 years.