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Masashi Nanbu new coach of Japan men’s national team

The Japan men’s national team guided by Mr. Nanbu will participate in the 2014 FIVB World League and 17th Asian Games in Incheon, Korea

Tokyo, Japan, February 7, 2014 – At a press conference held in Tokyo on Thursday, the Japan Volleyball Association (JVA) announced that Mr Masashi Nanbu will take over as coach of the Japan men’s national team.

Mr Nanbu replaces Gary Sato, who was hired in February 2013 and was the first foreign coach of a Japanese national volleyball team.  

It is hoped that Nanbu will turn around the Japan men’s team to make it one of the leading volleyball powers in the Asian region. The country lost all five of its FIVB World Grand Champions Cup matches last year and finished last in the event for the first time ever. Japan also failed to qualify for the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship Poland 2014 for the first time since 1960.

The new coach brings a wealth of experience to his new position having led the  Panasonic Panthers between 2007 and 2013 to three V Premier League titles, three Emperor’s Cup All-Japan Championships and four Kurowashiki All-Japan Tournaments. In 2010, Mr. Nanbu led the team to the bronze medal in the Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship. And in 2013, the Panthers participated in the 2013 FIVB Men’s Club World Championship where they finished fifth.

At the press conference held on Thursday, Mr. Nanbu said, “I accepted the offer from JVA with preparedness, though I know we don’t have enough time for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The goal of the Japan Men’s national team is to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games. But we also have to bring up young players when looking at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. I understand that the situation surrounding the team is not optimistic, but I must let the team qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games. The goal of 2014 is to win the 17th Asian Games (Incheon, Korea) and make a comeback to the top of Asia. I’ll do my best for the team.”

Yuko Arakida, President of National Team’s Commission, also expressed his hopes for improvement in the men’s national team. “We want the team to finish above fifth place at the World Cup in 2015 held in Japan and to get the ticket for the 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Qualification Tournament in 2016. At the 2020 Olympic Games, we want to have some players who have experienced the Olympic Games.”


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