| Achong Tanjong |
TAKAO Fujiwara, the former head coach for the Under-22 Brunei Darussalam national team, has lavished praise on Brunei’s youth football players, saying that the “team is very good and strong” but they have to “show more desire and dream to develop further”.
Fujiwara, who ended his tenure with the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) in December last year, made the statement in a recent interview with the Bulletin.
“To further develop they must first change their mindset and not only train, but learn something. They should not just attend training and be satisfied,” he advised.
“The players must show their commitment and work hard. Even top footballers like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and many others are always learning and training hard to achieve their goals and improve themselves.
“The players must have competition. For example as players they must have competition for their positions, they should not stay stagnant in one spot.”
Asked about his achievement during his four years coaching the national youth team, he said, “In the previous years, some coaches … they need to contact the players to come for training, but now the players themselves come in for training even if they have not been asked to. This is what I mean by change in mindset.
“Commitment and hard work is the key to success,” Fujiwara added.
He expressed his hope that the new coaches will continue to give their very best to train the local youth, adding that he is here to avail his knowledge and skills in football if needed.
He hopes players will impart the knowledge they’ve learnt from their training to their peers.
Fujiwara is an official Japan Football Association (JFA) licensed coach and has been dispatched to the NFABD since 2015, under the International Exchange/Social Action Programmes in Asia conducted by the JFA.
He assumed the position of Brunei Darussalam Under-14 National Team Head Coach in 2015. Since then, he has served as the Under-15 Head Coach, Under-18 Head Coach, Under-19 Head Coach, and his most recent role as Under-22 Head Coach.
Since taking up coaching responsibilities at the NFABD, Fujiwara has contributed significantly to the development of Bruneian youth football players and elevating the quality of the Brunei Darussalam national team to a higher level.
Takao Fujiwara recently met and presented an NFABD football jersey to the Ambassador of Japan to Brunei Darussalam Motohiko Kato.