National Team - Lions ● Dec 07, 2022
Update from the Lions’ camp in Japan!
Takayuki Nishigaya watches over a training session in Chiba, Japan, 3 December 2022
CHIBA, 7 DECEMBER 2022 – The Singapore Men’s National Team arrived in Chiba, Japan a week ago on 1 December for a training camp as part of preparations for the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Mitsubishi Electric (ME) Cup 2022.
A limbering session was followed by a short run in the evening on the first day after checking in at the team hotel, allowing the players to stretch their limbs after a seven-hour flight. That has been followed by nine training sessions where the Lions were put through their paces, particularly during the two days where there were double sessions each – one in the morning and the other in the afternoon.
Head coach Takayuki Nishigaya is satisfied with what he has seen so far from the 29 players in the provisional squad as they gear up for the Group B opener against Myanmar on 24 December.
Players doing sprints during a training session for the Lions in Chiba, Japan, 5 December 2022
“Everyone is feeling good and there are no major injury issues, which is pleasing,” he told FAS.org.sg. “Furthermore, I am very, very happy to see the players’ strong commitment and effort in every single moment of our time here.”
The Japanese tactician noted that the main aim of this camp is to get the entire team up to speed in terms of physical conditioning. With the domestic season concluding after the Singapore Cup final on 19 November, it meant that different players ended their club commitments at different times and thus have reported for National Team duty with varying levels of physical conditioning and fatigue.
“The training objectives right now are to ensure that all the players work their way back to the best in the physical aspect, as well as to achieve full match fitness again after their seasons at club level and the break they had afterward,” Nishigaya said. “After they have done so, we will then focus more on the tactical aspects in our preparations.”
Takayuki Nishigaya with sports scientist Faizul Wahid, 4 December 2022
Faizul Wahid, the team’s sport scientist, explained that the cooler environment in Chiba – temperatures range from six to 14 degrees daily on average – allows the players to push themselves further in a physical sense.
“The players will not lose as much body fluid as opposed to training in a warmer and more humid environment,” he said. “This means that they are now able to undergo more intense training sessions and last longer before fatigue sets in, which allows us to get in more quality work in a shorter span of time. This has been reflected in the data from training.
“Of course, there are pros and cons to any training environment – hot or cold – but contrary to what most people believe, the acclimatisation from one to the other is actually relatively easy. The training benefits from this camp will translate back to the conditions at home, so it is important that the sessions here are high in quality.”
Song Uiyoung (L) and Amirul Adli during a training session in Chiba, Japan, 6 December 2022
Nishigaya pointed out that the Lions’ time here in Japan gives them access to quality training facilities, as well as opportunities to play two training matches against opposition that possess similar playing styles to ASEAN teams – both also key factors in making Chiba the training camp destination.
The Lions will play their first training match tomorrow, which will be used to gauge their progress in terms of physical conditioning and match fitness.
“We want to monitor the players’ condition, as well as their chemistry with each other as there are a few new players who have been called up,” Nishigaya said. “I also want to see the desire from each and every one of them to make the final squad – not just during the matches but also for the rest of our time here.”
Meanwhile, tickets for the Lions’ two home AFF ME Cup 2022 matches in Group B have gone on sale, along with tickets for the international friendly against the Maldives on 17 December – head to fas.org.sg/tickets to purchase now!