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2009 FIVB Men's Grand Champions Cup
Osaka - Nagoya, Japan
18 - 23 November 2009

 JPN / Japan - Team Composition

Team manager TORIBA, Kenji
Head coach UETA, Tatsuya
Assistant coach MOROKUMA, Naoki
Doctor HAYASHI, Mitsutoshi
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 Takeshi Nagano Nagano 11/07/1985 176 65 315 300 Panasonic Panthers
  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   Naoya Suga Suga 17/05/1985 178 85 325 315 JT Thunders
  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 Hisashi Aizawa Aizawa 8/03/1986 195 86 353 335 Toray Arrows
  10   Daisuke Yako Yako 7/10/1988 193 87 335 325 JT Thunders
  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
  20   Takuya Yasunaga Yasunaga 27/03/1990 192 88 353 322 Tokai University
 C=Captain  L=Libero
Team profile

The year 2008 was an unforgettable year for Japan. The team qualified for the 2008 Beijing Olympics for the first time in 16 years to realize 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 improve his players’ attitude towards being top athletes and to boost their morale. Furthermore, he has worked on improving physical fitness and fundamental skills with combined offence. As a result, Japan has improved remarkably in every aspect through many international matches, making their way to the 2008 Olympics.

While the 2008 Olympics did not turn out the way Japan had hoped, it provided young players such as Yusuke Ishijima, Yu Koshikawa, Kunihiro Shimizu, Tatsuya Fukuzawa invaluable experience and confidence.

Following the Beijing Games, Team Japan brought in some new blood, such as Yusuke Matsuta and Kazuki Maeda. The duo joins a competent squad that is gradually emerging from a long dark tunnel.

This year, the team has successfully qualified for the 2010 World Championship in Italy and won the Asian Men’s Championship this fall. The team is now ready to put in a strong showing at the World Grand Champions Cup. 

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.

In 2009, Japan has had mixed results, finishing second to last in the World League before being bounced from next year’s competition by Egypt during a two-match qualification playoff.

But the team qualified for the 2010 World Championship in Italy and most recently won its seventh gold medal at the Asian Senior Men’s Championship in the Philippines.


  Photo gallery