'I was a little nervous': Japan coach plots trip and talks but admits early concern over Ange Postecoglou reaction

Japan coach Hajime Moriyasu is planning to visit Celtic Park in the near future to watch the club’s cohort of Japanese players and hold talks with manager Ange Postecoglou.
Japan boss Hajime Moriyasu is planning a trip to visit Celtic.Japan boss Hajime Moriyasu is planning a trip to visit Celtic.
Japan boss Hajime Moriyasu is planning a trip to visit Celtic.

Moriyasu caused a stir when he left out Celtic’s top goalscorer Kyogo Furuhashi from his recent national squad, with in-form midfielder Reo Hatate also an absentee. Daizen Maeda was the only player out of five possibilities called up – Tomoki Iwata and Yuki Kobayashi are also on Celtic’s books – and while that duo were never in with a shout of being involved in the friendlies against Uruguay and Colombia in March, there was some surprise that Furuhashi in particular missed out.

Moriyasu cited the standard of Scottish football as one of the contributing factors, but the coach is now keen to build bridges and is expected to embark on a tour of Europe in the coming weeks, with Glasgow one of his destinations. He admitted that he wants to meet Celtic boss Postecoglou and said that Furuhashi will always be a “candidate” when making his selections.

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Speaking to Japanese media, Moriyasu said: “Kyogo is always a candidate for the national team. I see that he is producing results for Celtic and has the value to play as a force for the Japanese national team at any time. There is still time before the next games, so I don’t know if he will be picked next time. But he will always be a member of the Japanese national team.”

On meeting Postecoglou, Moriyasu continyed: “I’m not good at English myself, so when I saw in the media that he said, ‘Let’s talk’, I was a little nervous. But I got it translated and I realised he said I was always welcome. I have visited Celtic before, but the manager is always welcoming and talks to me about various things. In order to build a friendly relationship again, and because he is a coach I can really respect, I would like to go if there is an opportunity to talk.”

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