Following the great
disappointment of missing out on qualifying for the Olympics on
three consecutive occasions, the Japan Volleyball Association
reached the decision that drastic reform was absolutely
necessary in order to fulfill their wish Ė participation in the
Olympics in Beijing.
The JVA therefore appointed Tatsuya Ueta, a former national
player and head coach of the junior menís national team as the
new leader of the menís national team in 2004.
Ueta launched a new squad with young promising players
immediately after the Olympic Qualification Tournament in May to
compete in the 2004 World League. While the results of the 2004
World League Ė where Japan failed to win a match - did not meet
the JVAís expectation, the young players gained invaluable
experience and confidence.
Ueta invited over forty players to the inaugural training camp
this year immediately after the V-League Ė Japanís premier
league Ė from Masaji Ogino (35), who made his comeback to
Japanís squad after seven years, to newcomer, Tatsuya Fukuzawa
(18) and picked 22 players for the 2005 World League. Now the
head coach expects Ogino to pull all the members together by
giving advice to the younger players.
Not only technically, but mentally as well, Japanís squad is
still developing but with Ueta in charge, the prospect of a new
era for Japanese menís Volleyball is an exciting one.
Ueta is strongly aware that becoming the Asian champions will be
the first step on the road to the Olympics but first of all he
must succeed in his first goal, qualifying for the final round
of the 2005 World League.