Tatsuya Ueta


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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.