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JFA Tohoku Reconstruction Support Project - January 2016 Report by TEGURAMORI Hiroshi, national training centre coach

10 February 2016

JFA Tohoku Reconstruction Support Project - January 2016 Report by TEGURAMORI Hiroshi, national training centre coach

I paid a visit to a futsal tournament held at Selecao Fukuroi Futsal Club on 4 January. The event is hosted by former Jubilo Iwata players every year as a reconstruction project and boys’ teams from affected areas are invited.

This year, six sixth graders from Yuriage SSS based in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture were invited to the event. Unfortunately, one of them became sick and ended up going back to Yuriage from Sendai Station, but the other five boys were kicking up their heels all the time from the early morning departure to the arrival in Shizuoka.

As the climate in Shizuoka is warmer than Tohoku, the boys played futsal with high energy at the tournament. They never seemed tired. "I wanted to play football more," they said with satisfaction after the event.

In the night, a party for a reconstruction support charity auction took place at Okura Act City Hotel Hamamatsu. Captain OKAZAKI Takato said a few words on behalf of Yurigae SSS. "Thank you for inviting us Yuriage SSS. We really enjoyed the event," he expressed their gratitude. I think it became a good memory for their elementary school life for those six graders.

It's been almost five years since the disaster. J.League clubs also gave various kinds of support and I'm also truly grateful.

This year's first visit to a devastated area was Ofunato City Football Association's 50th anniversary ceremony and party that took place on 9 January. I was invited as a reconstruction specially-appointed coach. I entered Iwate a day before 8 January and visited FC Sun Altus Ofunato on the following day. Sun Altas are a team who won the Fuji Japan Cup Tohoku Qualifiers last year, and I visited the team to give spurs to them.

I joined training among the fourth, fifth and sixth graders at the civic gymnasium on that day. They worked on a passing and controlling drills with players keeping moving, and a 3-on-2+2-on-3 drill which focused on an attacking direction also including a turn and a one-two as well as the utilization of a third player before finishing the training session with a game. Around this time of a year, we can recognise the apparent growth of six graders.

In the morning of 9th, I observed Takata FC's training at Rikuzen Takata Kamiosabe Ground. While the third and fourth graders went through defensive training, the six graders had game-style training. The fifth graders have gone travelling to Taro, Miyako for a futsal tournament.

Ofunato City mayor TODA Kimiaki, sports association's president SATO Ryuei and the Iwate Football Association president SHIMA Makoto took part in the anniversary event on 9th. The ceremony was held in a warm atmosphere as OGASAWARA Mitsuo (Kashima Antlers) gave a speech. Meanwhile, the Ofunato Football Association president SASAKI Koetsu presented a letter of appreciation to the Japan Football Association.

The coastal area of Iwate Prefecture was devastated by Tsunami. Most of the communities are still halfway through a reconstruction, but the area gets together to move forward for the rebirth even by inches.

I watched the second day of the Chibirin Cup Miyagi Qualifiers on Monday 11. Kesennuma Shishiori FC and Ishinomaki Onagawa’s Cobaltore were playing the tournament and I greeted their staff. Maybe because they knew my three-year term as the reconstruction coach is getting close to the end, they said, "thank you so much for all you did during three years. We are happy the coach was you." I felt happy with the word, but a complicated feeling came up because of their reconstruction situation that is only half done.

As a result, Cobaltore Onagawa won the tournament and advanced to the Tohoku regional tournament. Shishiori FC coach SUGAWARA Yoichi and Cobaltore coach SUMITA Sho live in temporary housing. Although they were also affected by the disaster, they work hard for children. I was encouraged by their efforts in reverse.

On 14th, I went to Futaba Mirai Gakuen in Hirono, Fukushima. I took over the Tohoku Youth Director task from Mr. YAMAZAKI Shigeo and supported their training combined with our handover process. The theme of the training was "attacking." We worked on passing and controlling drills as a warm-up, a 2+3-on-3 possession and a 1+3-on-3+1-on-1 (1+4-on-4) drill focusing on an attacking direction and finished with a 7-on-7 game with goalkeepers. On the Youth Director Yamazaki's last day, the players were also focused on the training. Not to waste Yamazaki's one-year coaching spell, I will try to give good coaching.

I gave an instruction at the same school on 21st and 28th as well. Letting them be aware of hard-running, we worked on passing and controlling, possession and game-style practice. I demanded the players to play with the basic nature of football, "going for goal, winning the ball." The players were taking aggressive challenges intentionally without being afraid of mistakes. Let's keep it on!

On 17th, I visited Kamaishi and Otsuchi in the Iwate's coastal area. FC Kamaishi, Sun Altas Ofunato and Grulla Morioka were playing friendly matches at Kamaishi Kyugijo. I exchanged a belated New Year's greeting with team staff. Lively performances by the children soothed my feeling.

After that, I prayed at the memorial of victims in front of the former Otsuchi Town Hall and took a view of the town from Shiroyama Park. It has been five years since the disaster occurred. As ground levelling and land adjustment were finished, the situation is finally going forward little by little. We still do not know when people living in temporary housing can get a chance to decide where to live and get back a secure life. The real reconstruction is starting from now on.

I attended a meeting of the Miyagi Football Association's youth division. After the meeting finished, I was given a letter of gratitude for my work as the "Reconstruction Support Coach" by the Miyagi Football Association.

On 23rd, I gave a speech on "Player Development Required" at instructor’s workshop that was part of the Miyagi Prefecture Sports Coach Council (Class 4), where Miyagi's sports club coaches assemble. At the New Year's gathering after that, I was able to see coaches from each district after a long time and it turned out to be fruitful.

My next visit on 30th was Arahama SSS's training at Arahama Elementary School Gymnasium in Watari, Miyagi. The students started training with playing tag before working on passing and controlling drills and finished with a game in groups of each grade. The Arahama kids were very lively and the practice was full of life.

On 31st, I headed for the Sennan District Football Association Presidential Cup U-8 Futsal Tournament (at Natori Civic Gym), where all 14 Sennan teams including Arahama SSS take part. Maybe because of the fact that the U-23 Japan National Team, led by my older brother, won the AFC U-23 Championship, I was asked to give a football clinic. Even just 30 minutes during lunch time, it was a very fun time. The tournament was quite heated with children's lively performances and cheers by their parents. I look forward to seeing their bright future.

It is about to mark five years since the disaster, but the reconstruction in the devastated area is still halfway.

I have travelled around Tohoku during my duty as the reconstruction coach and learned a lot every time in every place I visited.

Sports and football make us smile! They connect people!

It reminds me of how wonderful football is, and the three years reminded me of the happiness I feel by being involved in football.

You all football family, let's send smiles and energy to Tohoku and boost the reconstruction project!

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