The powers-that-be in Japanese Olympic football have appointed Hajime Moriyasu as their new coach for the 2020 Games in Tokyo and they have promised the fans that the squad will give their all in their quest for what would be their first medal in the sport since 1968.
Moriyasu is a former midfielder for the national team who won three J League titles in charge of Sanfreece Hiroshima in 2012, 2013 and 2015 but left the job in the summer of this year with the side at the wrong end of the table and in big danger of relegation.
However, Moriyasu does have an excellent reputation for nurturing young talent and bringing them through the ranks which, of course, bodes well for the Olympic side which is an under-23 tournament.
At the last Olympics in Rio the Japanese were sent out of the competition in the first round under Makoto Teguramori which was a major disappointment.
As a result, Teguramori left the job but is now an assistant on the senior national team and he was reported to be also be in the running for the job before the governing body opted for Moriyasu.
“This is a heavy responsibility but I hope to devote myself, body and soul to our preparations for the Olympics. I hope we’ll be able to deliver results that will make everyone happy. I’ll do my best for us to win a medal.” Moriyasu said in a press conference.
The president of the Japan Football Association Kozo Tashima spoke about the appointment.
“It is a high-pressure job but he (Moriyasu) is serious (about his work) and the most suitable person for the job.”
The first task at hand for the new boss will be the international tournament in Thailand in December and the Japanese will also take part in the Asian under-23 Championship in China early next year.