The draw for the “2010 Saitama International Junior Soccer Tournament” was held in Saitama governor’s office on 31st May. Tomoya Ugajin attended the draw from Urawa Reds.
This tournament has been held since 2003 after the 2002 World Cup, with the aim of assisting the healthy growth of youth and providing an opportunity for international exchange.
Daisuke Watabe of Omiya Ardija also attended the draw. Ugajina and Watabe took turns and picked capsules one by one to decide the preliminary league. In the tournament, 24 teams will be divided into 8 groups and play the preliminary league. There will be 6 teams from overseas (Paris Saint-Germain Football Club, Shanxi Province, Malaysia, Thailand, Bahrain and Incheon Metropolitan City), 6 teams from Saitama prefecture and 12 teams from outside of Saitama prefecture.
Ugajin gave a message to the children who will be playing in the tournament. “When I was a primary school student, there was no such international exchange tournament. It will be a very valuable experience playing against overseas teams for you. I hope you can learn from the overseas players as well as play to the fullest as Japanese.”
The overseas teams will arrive at Saitama on 20th July. After several exchange programs, the preliminary league and the final game will be held at Saitama Stadium 2002 and other 3 stadiums from 23rd to 25th July.
“I was a little nervous as I seldom speak to the press. With regard to draw, I picked capsules with full concentration. I did not have such a chance when I was a primary school student, so I envy the participants. This tournament will give them a chance to experience other countries soccer styles. Overseas teams may have great skills, but I am sure there will be some areas that Japanese soccer is superior. I hope this experience will give them an opportunity to improve their skills.”
【Urawa Reds Official Media (URD : OM)】