The Asahi Shimbun runs a small feature on the newly promoted J.League Division Two side Matsumoto Yamaga, focusing on the training camp being run under the auspices of the new manager Yasuharu Sorimachi. Sorimachi was hired for the position owing to his predecessor Yoshiyuki Kato not having the requisite coaching credentials for a professional team. Sorimachi led the session, which was opened up to supporters of the Ptarmigans, with his squad of 30 focusing on light exercise and technical drills. The Nagoya Prefecture side begin their league campaign away to Shonan Bellmare on 4 March, following by their first professional home fixture at the Matsumotodaira Football Stadium against Montedio Yamagata a week later.
The power of Japanese women through the ages, including the evolution of language through the invention of kana, to the present time and the boom of women’s football owing to the exploits of the modern day heroine Homare Sawa occupies the thoughts of Ryuzo Morioka in The Daily Mainichi. Morioka, the former Japanese international defender capped thirty-eight times by the Samurai Blue, and now a coach at Kyoto Sanga, talks about “Pink Power”, and that young boys should surely be impressed and inspired by the achievements of the Nadeshiko, self-mockingly suggesting that he is perfectly aware of female strength owing to the number within the Morioka household.
And finally, Nippon Sports takes on the increasingly protracted and convoluted negotiations which could see Keisuke Honda leave PFC CSKA Moscow for Italian giants SS Lazio. The 25 year-old attacking midfielder has been linked with a host of clubs across Europe in recent years, and the Corriere Dello Sport reported that there is some distance between the fee Lazio are willing to pay, with an EUR 2 million loan fee followed by a full transfer fee of EUR 10m being proffered six months later, compared to an EUR 16m fee being demanded by the Russian club. A further complication is that Lazio has a full complement of foreign players, and will need to loan or sell one of its current overseas contingent to allow Honda to play. With the transfer window closing in Italy at midnight on 2 February, and a significant gap in the valuations of the two clubs, there is little optimism that a deal will be concluded this winter.
(Keisuke Honda opens the scoring with a free-kick for Japan against Denmark in the 2010 FIFA World Cup Group E game. Japan would go on to win the match 3-1 with goals from Yasuhito Endo and Shinji Okazaki)