Celtic confirm Japan & South Korea pre-season tour, possible opponents and what Ange Postecoglou said
It had previously been reported Ange Postecoglou would take his side to play friendlies in the country where he won a league title before moving to Parkhead. It has now been revealed the club will spend a week in Japan before heading to South Korea following a training camp which will take place in Europe.
The Premiership league leaders could face Yokohama F. Marinos, the team Postecoglou led to J1 League success in 2019, while Manchester City have also been touted as potential opponents.
Celtic are expected to be a popular draw in Japan with five Japanese players in their squad. Daizen Maeda represented the country at the 2022 World Cup, scoring in the tournament, while Kyogo Furuhashi and Reo Hatate have won international caps. Yuki Kobayashi and Tomoki Iwata joined in January from Vissel Kobe and Yokohama F. Marinos respectively. The latter, also an international, signed on loan but the deal will become permanent in the summer. They also added South Korean international striker Hyeongyu Oh, spending seven figures on the highly-rated forward.
“We are really looking forward to our summer tour to Japan, and we’re sure it will be hugely successful for the club and excellent preparation for next season,” Postecoglou told the Celtic website with further details to be announced. “Clearly, Celtic has a real, long-standing connection with Japan, through previous visits and players such as Shunsuke Nakamura and, of course, now through our current squad members, so it will be great to visit and really bring this relationship to life.
“As we saw from our brilliant visit to Australia last year, the appetite for Celtic globally is huge and it is right that we maximise these great opportunities and show the world all that is great about our club.
"We wanted to pay respect to Japanese football so we are delighted to be engaging with the J-League and its clubs. Japanese football is on a real upward trajectory at the moment, so we know we will be facing real tests, something which will be great for the team as we go into the challenges of next season.”
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