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World League 2009
20th Edition

 JPN / Japan - Team Composition

Team manager TORIBA, Kenji
Head coach UETA, Tatsuya
Assistant coach MOROKUMA, Naoki
Doctor YOSHIZAWA, Joji
Therapist / trainer KURIHARA, Kosaku
Journalist WATANABE, Keitaro
  No. Name Lastname Shirt Name Birthdate Height Weight Spike Block Club
  L 1 Osamu Tanabe Tanabe 10/04/1979 181 73 330 300 Toray Arrows
  2   Yuta Abe Abe 8/08/1981 191 85 342 320 Suntory Sunbirds
  3 Kozo Takahashi Takahashi 21/03/1982 188 77 328 318 Toyoda Gosei Trefuerza
  4   Yusuke Matsuta Matsuta 31/10/1982 200 90 345 340 Panasonic Panthers
  C 5 Daisuke Usami Usami 29/03/1979 184 88 320 310 Panasonic Panthers
  6   Takeshi Kitajima Kitajima 16/12/1982 195 85 346 330 Sakai Blazers
  L 7 Yusuke Inoue Yusuke 5/08/1983 173 72 315 300 Sakai Blazers
  8   Kazuki Maeda Maeda 17/08/1983 186 74 336 323 FC Tokyo
  9 Akira Ogawa Ogawa 5/09/1983 189 78 345 330 JT Thunders
  10   Takahisa Otake Ohtake 12/06/1984 185 70 325 320 Panasonic Panthers
  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 193 97 330 320 Panasonic Panthers
  14   Tatsuya Fukuzawa Fukuzawa 1/07/1986 189 88 355 330 Panasonic Panthers
  15 Takaaki Tomimatsu Tomimatsu 20/07/1984 192 85 350 330 Toray Arrows
  16   Yusuke Ishijima Gottsu 9/01/1984 0 0 345 335 Sakai Blazers
  17 Yu Koshikawa Koshikawa 30/06/1984 189 87 340 320 JT Thunders
  18   Yuta Yoneyama Yoneyama 29/08/1984 185 83 340 320 Toray Arrows
  19 Shiro Furuta Furuta 29/01/1988 188 88 350 330 Hosei University
 C=Captain  L=Libero
Team profile

The year 2008 was an unforgettable one for Japan. For the first time in 16 years the team qualified for the Olympics, thus fulfilling a long-cherished dream.
Tatsuya Ueta, coach of the Japanese Men's National Team since the squad failed to qualify for the 2004 Olympics, has been working tirelessly for his players ever since.
Ueta has tried to boost player morale, improve attitudes regarding what constitutes being a professional athlete, and to raise the team’s level of fitness. Tactically, Ueta has worked on developing fundamental skills and offense. As a result, Japan has improved remarkably in every aspect of its game on the international scene, and was eventually rewarded with a spot at the Beijing Olympics.
While the 2008 Olympics didn’t turn out exactly the way Japan had hoped, it did provide young players such as Yusuke Ishijima, Yu Koshikawa, Kunihiro Shimizu and Tatsuya Fukuzawa a platform on which to gain experience and confidence.
Following the Beijing Games, Team Japan brought in some new blood in the form of Yusuke Matsuta and Hideyuki Yamamoto, both of whom are over 2 meters tall. The duo joins a competent squad that is gradually emerging from a long, dark tunnel.
The team is currently ranked ninth in the FIVB World Rankings and is hoping to put in a strong showing in the 2009 World League as a first step on the road to the 2012 Olympics.

Coach profile

The Japan Volleyball Association appointed Tatsuya Ueta as head coach of the Japanese Men's National Team in 2004, immediately after the squad failed to qualify for the Athens Olympics.

The former Junior Men's National Team coach has since worked tirelessly with the senior squad, introducing a progressive and physically stringent training regimen that includes many tips and lessons he's learned studying the game abroad. The recent success of the National Team is entirely due to Ueta's philosophy and efforts.
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 National Team.
Ueta worked hard to improve his squad step by step, and as a result, in his third year as coach in 2007, Ueta's squad beat Italy twice and France once in the World League. Beating volleyball powerhouse Italy at home and away has given Ueta's players enormous confidence and enthusiasm. The team is now convinced that nothing is impossible.
That said, Japan's squad finished a disappointing 9th at the 2007 World Cup, but the JVA stuck with Ueta in the hopes he could still lead the team to its first Olympic berth in 16 years. Ueta and the team made the long-cherished dream a reality by securing a place at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Japan's performance in Beijing left much to be desired, however, and Ueta discovered weaknesses in the team throughout the competition. But having witnessed and chronicled those failings, Ueta believes Team Japan can become one of the world's Top 5 teams in the coming years as long as the shortcomings are addressed and rectified.


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