How Do Japanese Players Develop?

Discussion in 'Japan' started by waltlantz, Jul 26, 2018.

  1. waltlantz

    waltlantz Member

    Jul 6, 2010
    American here.

    Spent some time in Japan, so I noticed that there is wide pick up and play structure (at least of kids at school during recess and such).

    But I have always wondered...

    Japan is a recent comer into the Internatioal Soccer scene yet of all the teams that "awakened" in the 90s and New Millenium, they seem to have made the most progress in terms of creating gifted players that can contend in top leagues.

    How did they do that? Is it similar to their baseball development through the schools or more European style with kids playing in municipal youth clubs?
     
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  2. teioh

    teioh Member+

    Apr 17, 2012
    Japan has Captain Tsubasa. That's all.
     
  3. Gordon1995

    Gordon1995 Member

    Oct 3, 2013
    #3 Gordon1995, Jul 28, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2018
    Yup Japan is pretty nice but it has a fairly big population and it has the money to spend on all the facilities like the other developed countries. Imo, countries like Uruguay, Portugal and Netherlands are more worthy to learn from as they produce more world-class players despite having a much smaller population. That is more praise-worthy imo, even though they started earlier than Japan of course.

    Japan has a problem now, which is not producing enough players with extremely strong individual qualities that can make things happen even when the team as a whole is not playing well like Bale, Ronaldo, Messi, Harry Kane, Suarez and Benzema, etc. or players which take the game by the scruff of the neck like Platini, Iniesta, Modric and Zidane, etc. Japan produces a lot of players which tend to be team-focused and fulfill their duties within the team well but cannot make things happen on their own. Closest was Honda and Nakata imo.
     
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  4. verde água

    verde água Member

    São Paulo
    Oct 4, 2017
    #4 verde água, Jul 28, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2018
    Being a developed country helps a lot. In Japan many public high schools have official size soccer fields. Meanwhile here in Brazil, even the most expensives private schools don't have that. Unlike in Japan, the coaches of youth soccer in Brazil don't have higher education, even in clubs of the highest tier. And most of the kids don't have adequated materials to practice.

    The high school soccer culture is crucial. If a boy fails a tryout in a professional club, he has another chance in a high school. Examples of this includes Honda, Gen Shoji, Shibasaki, Hasebe, Takashi Inui. Growing up in Brazil i've seen lots of really tallented guys end up not becoming professional players thanks mainly to lack of opportunities and poverty.

    The highly developed university soccer is another Japan's importante weapon to it's success and what differentiates them from other countries. The level played in these university leagues is the same of the A-league, acording to Mitchell Duke. So if someone fails both the clubs and high schools trials or is born in a distant prefecture, he has another chance in the universities. Examples of this includes Nagatomo, Yoshinori Muto, Junya Ito, Kyogo Furuhashi. The University of Tsukuba is a great reference for soccer in Japan.

    In addition, the J-league in very well organized in it's 3 tiers plus the semiprofessional JFL. It has managers that have experience as players and are required to have made official courses. The profissionalism is high standard, thanks to many people there having higher education.

    This amazing diverse soccer structure doesn't existe even in others advanced countries like Germany or England. This is what explain Japan's success in my view.
     
  5. Gordon1995

    Gordon1995 Member

    Oct 3, 2013
    Japan is more similar to the US in that there is an emphasis of school with regard to youth development e.g NCAA whereas European players mainly develop in the youth teams of clubs. South American countries' success in the WC is different from Europe, a lot of South American players played soccer in the street and get noticed e.g Neymar whereas European countries' players go to their respective clubs and play in their youth teams. I don't really think either one is better than the other or what. All have their pros and cons. And, Japan still have some serious work to do before winning a WC like those countries you have named.
     
  6. waltlantz

    waltlantz Member

    Jul 6, 2010
    That may be so, but how is it that Japan has created more technically gifted players than the US with a school system?
     
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  7. verde água

    verde água Member

    São Paulo
    Oct 4, 2017
    As I said above, japanese boys have other chances if they fail the clubs tryouts. Can you imagine Japan in the World Cup without Nagatomo, Shoji, Hasebe, Shibasaki, Inui, Osako, Honda? All these players are soccer players thanks to high schools. And the importance of the high school championship in Japan is high, unlike in the US.
     
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  8. SamuraiBlue2002

    SamuraiBlue2002 Member+

    Dec 20, 2008
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    Japan
    In Japan, High School teams train as much as, if not more, than J-league youth clubs almost all year long.

    You cannot do this in America. I believe that there are laws preventing the amount of time students can practice on campus.
     
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  9. teioh

    teioh Member+

    Apr 17, 2012
    It seems that a japanese student has more chances as a footballer than any other students. I mean that for what I know japanese students have their life already decided since the elementary school in the sense of: good school -> goos university -> good job.
    But maybe this is only BS and/or things changed,
     
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  10. _katsukun_

    _katsukun_ Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Belgium
    Club:
    RSC Anderlecht
    Nat'l Team:
    Japan
    That team-focused issue (well not really an issue)... Maybe that’s also the reason why Japan can’t produce decent strikers?
     
  11. Gordon1995

    Gordon1995 Member

    Oct 3, 2013
    Maybe, but then again, it is starting to change a bit with pure CFs like Osako, Suzuki, etc. A lot of Japan's ''strikers'' are more like Second striker and winger/forwards as they are unable to play with their back against the goal, hold the ball up and take on defenders on their own.
    Japan need to improve the physicality of players and also produce players with great individual qualities rather than a bunch of team-focused players during the youth development stage of the players. Japan players are pretty technical but not physical enough.
     
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  12. yanagibashi

    yanagibashi Member

    Eintracht Braunschweig
    Japan
    Jan 3, 2018
    god bless the high school football system. for all it’s drawbacks or perceived weakness, it’s amazing how this system produces outstanding talent (even with the rise of j league youth programs).
     
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  13. AKITOD

    AKITOD Member+

    Apr 5, 2007
    Hobart, Aust
    Club:
    JEF United Ichihara
    Nat'l Team:
    Japan
    I remember reading an article which I think was an interview with Kawabuchi (Former JFA president and part of the start of the J.League in the early 90's). Long time ago so probably can't find the link.

    Basically he was saying that it was a key objective for them to make it so that in general terms, it's extremely unlikely that any player in Japan who has some talent to fall through the cracks of the system. So there are now multiple routes to professional play. There's a strong pull for players with talent to develop at high levels in their age group even if they aren't in the youth academies.

    That's why you can have stories like Yuto Nagatomo who one year is the crowd drummer at FC Tokyo home games one year and playing University football age 20, then signs with Tokyo Verdy, then FC Tokyo, JNT, and by age 24 starting LB for Inter Milan + Japan.
     
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  14. nipponbasse83

    nipponbasse83 Member+

    Jun 17, 2007
    Ichikawa, Chiba, Japan
    Club:
    Consadole Sapporo
    Nat'l Team:
    Norway
    Not sure how it it is in USA, but futsal is a huge thing in Japan. And a lot of the players have surely benefitted from playing futsal regularly as well alongside their normal trainings with their HS/Uni-teams.
     
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  15. yanagibashi

    yanagibashi Member

    Eintracht Braunschweig
    Japan
    Jan 3, 2018
    not sure which yuto nagatomo you’ve been following this decade but he never played for tokyo verdy, not even their youth team.

    and he never was drummer for fc tokyo.
     
  16. Samurai Warrior

    Samurai Warrior Member+

    Dec 2, 2008
    Nat'l Team:
    Japan
    He was drummer in some of Tokyo Verdy matches, when he was still at Meiji University, before joining FC Tokyo.
     
  17. AKITOD

    AKITOD Member+

    Apr 5, 2007
    Hobart, Aust
    Club:
    JEF United Ichihara
    Nat'l Team:
    Japan
    cheers mate, yes other way round I had it my bad lol
     
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