Japan Tour 2018
The football experience in Japan was extremely challenging and lots of fun. We faced some of the best youth teams in the whole country such as JFA Academy Fukushima and put up a great fight against each team and played our hearts out. It was a great experience and we all had lots of fun, one of the best moments of the football tour was when Ben Clarke (8/MA) scored our first goal of the tour against a top club. We were trained by some incredible coaches, some ex-professional Japanese players, and current coaches of J-league clubs. We learnt many new things from each training session and every game we played. One of the main things we learnt was the Japanese way of playing football; quick two-touch passing, controlling it on your back foot, switching the play and so much more.
Not only did we play football but we had many cultural experiences too. We did many traditional activities and visited some significant Japanese sights. We cooked traditional recipes such as soba noodles and omurice, which is a Japanese style omelette, in the heart of Tokyo. We visited the Tokyo Skytree and got to see Tokyo city from 250 metres up. We were lucky enough to see the Sensō-ji temple which is one of Tokyo’s oldest temples founded in 628. We also took a trip to the zoo and saw animals like pandas, polar bears and flamingos. We took a Japanese drum lesson and watched some talented local school students play them.
Other than the football and cultural parts of the tour, we were fortunate enough to take a trip to one of five Disneyland Parks in the world. Although it was rather packed, and you would be lucky if you were to get on five rides overall, it was still great fun. The hotel we stayed in was unique with dome-shaped rooms next to a theme park which provided amazing light shows every night. Everyone was also fascinated with the futuristic automatic toilets.
We discovered a lot about the Japanese locals and the country itself. There are lots of things that make Japan unique. They have an incredible culture with interesting traditions they are willing to share with tourists and foreigners. They have a big history which is reflected through temples, are and old cities. The people are extremely respectful and polite to everyone.
The benefit of the players and coaches going to Japan was to expand our footballing attributes and skills and to learn the Japanese way of playing it. The teams we played against were incredible it shows that there are different standards above GPS football. We were privileged to experience an outstanding culture in a completely different country. Overall it was a great tour that wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for the organisers and staff who did a great job and were very supportive and helpful.
Tyler Kang (8/ME)