Hi guys. We are ready to open another year of Nadeshiko football (actually, as everyone of you know, the year of Nadeshiko football has already begun with the final of Empress' Cup being played today, but that match actually belongs to 2018 season and it's been rightfully commented on the 2018 thread ). It will be a busy and important year for sure, and I don't want to make a very long "state of Nadeshiko football" introduction, as I did last year. Suffice to say that 2018 has been a glorious year for Nadeshiko Japan: we won three major tournaments (AFC Asian Cup, U-20 WWC and Asian Games) and the only one that was quite disappointing was U-17 WWC (but Kusunose's resignement a week ahead of the tournament wasn't going to remain without consequence and, although New Zealand deservedly won the quarter-final match, I guess Ikeda's plan was just to rotate as many players as possible and to give some international experience to everyone of them). Friendly tournaments (Algarve and ToN) were the only ones where Nadeshiko Japan had plain bad results (and this probably costed us a seeded place at the draw for WWC 2019), but I'd give them away everyday to win those that actually count instead, as we did. Of course, this new year has just one big target: WWC in France! The draw has been quite good for us and we can hope to advance quite deep in the tournament: how much deep? We're going to see. For sure it will be hard to do better that the last two editions (Champions and runner-ups), but we'll go for it for sure. "She Believes Cup" at the end of February/beginning of March will be an interesting and new tool for our preparation (although this means no Algarve Cup this year for us: sorry, @Manchester Nadeshiko ). The fact that Mizuho Sakaguchi played some minutes today in the Empress' Cup's final is a very good omen for WWC. Finalizing the roster with the right balance of veterans and young players will be hard for Takakura, but I have faith that the squad we're going to bring to France will be the best Nadeshiko Japan side as possible and that we're going to challenge the strongest NTs in the world on a parity basis. May the best one win! Later, I'll probably post here my seasonal-scorers chart for 2018. Not sure if locking the 2018 thread will be as easy as usual, but I'm going to try to make it happen: meanwhile, I'd say we should transfer here any ongoing discussion anyway (I am going to post a reminder on the 2018 thread within minutes). A good 2019 Nadeshiko year to everyone!