Three players selected for the Global Final of "The Chance".
From Left to Right: Ryosuke Kinoshita (FW, Takigawa Daini High School) , Ukyo Tomisawa (DF, Touin Gakuen High School) , Yuki Yamanouchi (MF, Kagoshima Jitsugyo High School）
Last week, three young Japanese football players finally clinched their tickets to Barcelona, where they will be participating in the global final of "The Chance", Nike’s global talent search program. The Japan final for "The Chance" took place in Saitama Stadium 2002, world class stadium and dream venue for aspiring football players.
The road to Barcelona was not an easy one, as those 3 finalists were chosen from a total of 7,000 young athletes from all around the country. The selection process mixed an extensive grass root level search, with Nike scouts visiting schools and club teams across the nation, local contests held in four different regions Tohoku (Miyagi), Kanto (Kanagawa), Kansai (Osaka) & Kyushu (Fukuoka), as well as a surprise scouting by Serie A star player Yuto Nagatomo (Inter Milan). The selection process was supervised by football manager Yahiro Kazama, former professional player and Japan national team member Akira Narahashi, and J-League’s Sanfrecce Hiroshima scouting manager Osamu Adachi.
After a rigorous selection process, 47 players were chosen out of the initial 7,000 candidates, and were invited to the Japan Final taking place over two days:
On day 1, Yahiro Kazama selected 26 players through SPARQ physical tests, position based exercises and short games.
On day 2, three Japan finalists were selected after a GPS enabled 7x 7 players mini-game and a final 90 minute game using the full main pitch of Saitama Stadium 2002.
The selected three finalists are:
・Ryosuke Kinoshita, FW (Takigawa Daini High School)
・Ukyo Tomisawa, DF (Touin Gakuen High School)
・Yuki Yamanouchi, MF （Kagoshima Jitsugyo High School）
Those 3 Japanese players will join other 100 footballers from around the world aspiring to become the 16 global finalists in Barcelona, Spain from Aug 19 (Sun) thru 26 (Sun).The global best 16 footballers will then have a chance to further pursue their dreams of becoming professional players by being part of a special scouting tour involving some of the world's biggest clubs, Manchester United and Juventus.
■ Comments by the players:
“I was so happy. Being a striker, scoring goals was the most important thing for me. I was able to do well. Now that I can participate in the global final, I’d like to be one of the final 16.”
“ I’m very happy. I believe my overall performance combined with speed was recognized. I’d like to practice much more to get better so I can further elevate myself.”
“My heart was pounding (as I was the last one to be called for). I am very happy. My leg cramped up but I was able to play until the end. I’d definitely like to be one of the 16 global finalists.
■ Comment by Yahiro Kazama:
“The players' level was higher than that of the prior year. People often say that Japanese players are rather quiet, which was not true for these kids. They wanted to grab the chance by themselves and I could feel their passion, hunger and impatience. The 3 individuals who were selected all have strong physical abilities with which they went into the game. I’ d like to see them making their dream come true through exploiting this opportunity.”
15 years since its initial release, the legendary Air Force One Linen returns this week.
15 years since its initial release, the legendary Air For...
Army Black Knights will wear the new “paratrooper” look on December 10.
Army Black Knights will wear the new “paratrooper” look o...
Inspired by the merging of ocean and land in Rio de Janeiro, the new NikeLab Air Zoom Legend x RT brings elements of Nike's past experimentation in boots into a new Chelsea boot.
Inspired by the merging of ocean and land in Rio de Janei...
For the third year in a row, the Diamond Quest begins with all four schools in the College Football Playoff wearing Nike uniforms.
For the third year in a row, the Diamond Quest begins wit...
The Nike Flyknit Racer is available December 9 in the "Earth Tones"...
A special Nike Kobe A.D. PE for DeMar DeRozan.
A LEBRON 13 Low PE for J.R. Smith.
A closer look at Nike's "New York Made" campaign including a new Nike Soho store, an artist-designed basketball court and more.
A closer look at Nike's "New York Made" campaign includin...
NIKELAB CHI opens on December 1.
The Nike Detroit Community Store’s inaugural grant benefits the Boys and Girls Club of Southeastern Michigan and more.
The Nike Detroit Community Store’s inaugural grant benefi...
Jordan Brand honors the 20th anniversary of Space Jam with the launch of DEFY, new take on the classic story to inspire a new generation to defy expectations.
Jordan Brand honors the 20th anniversary of Space Jam wit...
The Nike HyperAdapt 1.0 in Black/White-Blue Lagoon releases December 1.
The Nike HyperAdapt 1.0 in Black/White-Blue Lagoon releas...
NikeLab MA5 opens in Minami Aoyama, Tokyo on December 1.
Tiger Woods will lace up a new signature shoe when he returns to the course this week.
Tiger Woods will lace up a new signature shoe when he ret...
Nike's Global Showcase selects five young footballers to join the Elite Development Squad for 2017.
Nike's Global Showcase selects five young footballers to ...