September 18, 2023 19:55
Category: ★Free articles • Househusband’s room • From the practice range
Tags: 2023 • September 20 • ACL2023/24 • MD1-E • pickup • Group Stage • Melbourne City FC • Kofu
The Japanese team (VF Kofu Army) holds up a flag of Emperor’s Cup winning goods at the terminal before arriving. This is his first appearance in the ACL after his wonderful accomplishment last season. We want to play our first game against Melbourne City FC with respect and gratitude for former Tokushima manager Daruma Yoshida, who is facing a tough battle to remain in J2 at Omiya, and Jinki Urakami and Toshiki Ishikawa.
We arrived at Melbourne Airport a few hours earlier than the team, so we moved from Jetstar’s Terminal 4 to Terminal 1, where Qantas domestic flights arrive (the team transfers from international flights), and waited for them to arrive. It takes almost 24 hours from boarding the Azusa at Kofu Station to arriving at Melbourne Airport via Shinjuku Station, Narita Airport, and Gold Coast Airport, which is tiring for both the old man and the team. The team is not an LCC but a full-service carrier (FSC), so Qantas Airways is a full-service carrier (FSC), so every time you buy a coke or orange juice on a flight, you’re told, “It’s $5,” and when you try to watch a movie or drama, it’s “paid content.” I don’t see any words like that, but it’s economy class, so it’s just as tiring.
When I spoke briefly with some of the players at the airport, several players said, “I couldn’t sleep (on the plane),” and 196cm goalkeeper Michael Wood said something along the lines of “It was a long time…” But I think it was long and narrow. According to manager Yoshiyuki Shinoda, when clubs that are required to compete for the championship every year in the J1 League compete in the ACL, it is impossible to have everyone travel in business class on away trips, but 10 or so people may travel in business class. Also, since this was my first time in Kofu, not only the on-site staff but also the front desk staff were all involved, but just transporting over 100 bags and containers was extremely difficult.
Australia has extremely strict quarantine regulations, and it seems that if any sports team, professional or amateur, tries to bring in shoes or equipment with dirt or grass on it, it will be a big problem. When Yoshiki Tsuruta, the manager in charge, receives players’ spikes in Japan, he thoroughly removes dirt and grass before packing them up. Despite Kofu’s passion, they have less budget and manpower than other J1 clubs, so the players also helped out when transporting over 100 bags and containers. This is also said to be done by the staff at J1 clubs, in order to prevent players from getting tired – the players are moved to a hotel first. However, Coach Shinoda didn’t seem to dislike the difference, and laughed and said, “This is also an ACL, though.” If the first match against Melbourne City FC had been held at Kofu’s home stadium, I think Kofu would have had an advantage as the match was played in Australia in the winter and in Japan, where the lingering heat was harsh, but this time it was the opposite. Coach Shinoda said, “I think our players can run,” and hopes to make adjustments on-site to remove the lactic acid that has accumulated during the trip and go into the match on the 20th in as good a condition as possible.
The most delicious meal I had after arriving in Melbourne was the Vietnamese banh mi I ate while waiting for the team at the airport. I wanted to eat on the way home, but since I had an early morning flight, there were definitely no restaurants open…I ate at T2, so it was in a different terminal. I want to take this recipe home and open a Staguru restaurant…
During transit at Gold Coast Airport, passengers are also loaded from the rear of the aircraft, making it more dynamic than in Japan.