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JFA Academy Imabari crowned champions at Costa Daurada Cup held in Spain

21 April 2023

JFA Academy Imabari crowned champions at Costa Daurada Cup held in Spain

JFA Academy Imabari went on a tour to Spain from Saturday 1 April to Sunday 9 April. In this tour, a total of 14 players, including 11 players from the 7th class (third-year junior high school students) and three players selected from the Shikoku region, participated in the Costa Daurada Cup held in Tarragona, Spain. After playing through three matches in the group stage and three matches in the knockout stage, JFA Academy Imabari claimed the title in the U-16 division, in which 16 teams competed, including Spain, the USA, Canada, and Ireland. The competition provided the players with invaluable experiences both on and off the pitch, as they tested their skills against faster and stronger opponents, interacted with players from other counties, and visited local sites such as Camp Nou and La Sagrada Familia.

Academy Players’ Comments

ONO Megumi (7th Class/FC Cormo Ladies Azalea)
There are two things I learnt from this tour to Spain, one in football and the other in my daily life. Firstly, in terms of football, I learnt that my ball control skills were effective against other countries. However, I lacked strengths to kick the ball and win the physical battles. Secondly, in terms of daily life, I was able to actively interact with players from other countries. I was able to talk to them in a positive way, but it served as a reminder that I need to study English more. In addition, I was behind schedule on several occasions during this tour. I could have acted with plenty of time to spare if I had planned and double-checked ahead of time. I'll do my best to apply all the lessons I've learned from this tour going forward.

NAKAMURA Ayaka (7th Class/FC Imabari Ladies NEXT)
A total of 14 players, including 11 academy players and three players chosen from Shikoku, participated in this tour to Spain. It was a beautiful experience for us, not just because we won the tournament, but also because we were able to engage with the local people and their culture. The tournament also served as a reminder of our weaknesses both as a team and as individuals. For me, I lacked physical strengths and quality of passes. I would like to thank all the people, including our coaches and parents, who helped us prepare for the trip, and I would like to make the most of it in my daily life.

MATSUHIRA Kokono (7th Class/FC Imabari Ladies NEXT)
There are two things I particularly remember from this tour to Spain. The first was the tournament final against Girona FC, who were the strongest opposition we have played in this tournament. I was totally overwhelmed by their pressure and couldn’t showcase my usual performance. The match reminded me that I need to be able to make quicker decisions, especially before receiving the ball. The second was our visit to Camp Nou and Sagrada Familia. I had never been to a stadium as big as Camp Nou, so I was very impressed by its enormity, and it made me want to play at a stadium like that in the future.

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