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Club News


2 January 2024

Club News


2 January 2024

Huddersfield Town defender Nakayama to represent Japan at 2024 Asia Cup in Qatar

- Yuta Nakayama called up by Japan
- Huddersfield Town defender to play in Asia Cup
- Charles Ondo called up by Equatorial Guinea for Africa Cup of Nations

Yuta Nakayama will be out of action for Town for the foreseeable future, with the defender’s strong form earning him a place in Japan’s squad for the 2024 Asia Cup!

Supporters will remember that Yuta had been selected for the Japanese team ahead of the 2022 World Cup, but a serious Achilles injury ruled him out of the tournament mere hours after his selection had been announced to the public.

Working extremely hard to come back stronger from that setback, Nakayama has been the regular starting left-back for his country since breaking back into the fold, and was even given the captain’s armband for a recent game with the Samurai Blue.

Placed in a group alongside Vietnam, Iraq and Indonesia, these fixtures will run until 24 January, with the knockout rounds building up to the final on 10 February. With high hopes for the tournament, the Japanese national team have won nine consecutive games since June 2023, including a 4-1 win over Germany in Wolfsburg.

Commenting on his selection, Yuta said:

“In terms of the national team, I’m really happy to be called up. What I can do is trust everyone here at Huddersfield Town and show my ability in the national team, and if I can play well then it can effect everyone, and give us energy.

“Right now my feelings are a little bit strange because I’m playing in the middle of the season and I have to leave here to play for the national team. I remember last season with the injury, it was a really bad feeling missing the World Cup, but now I have the chance to join Japan in a tournament which is a really nice feeling.

“I need to switch off my Huddersfield Town brain now, but I want to send my teammates good results and be stronger for it when I come back. Even with the national team, I will be following every single game here, and if we are getting good results then it will absolutely give me energy to win the Asia Cup, so we can still help each other!”

Huddersfield Town Manager Darren Moore added:

“I think it’s fantastic for Yuta, I really do.

“When you take into account his previous injury, and the subsequent form and consistency that he’s shown to be called back up by his country for the Asia Cup is fantastic for him and his family.

“We certainly wish him really, really well in the tournament, and we’ll be monitoring him from our home shores and seeing how he gets on - the medical team, sports scientists and myself will be keeping an eye on his games, and hopefully we’ll be able to stream a few live to see him in action!”

Yuta isn’t the only Town player to be called-up for a major international tournament, with the B Team’s Charles Ondo once again selected by Equatorial Guinea for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations in Côte d’Ivoire!

A regular within the Elephants’ squad in recent times, Ondo has operated as a left wing-back when called upon by his nation. In a group alongside tournament hosts Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria and Guinea-Bissau, the group stages run until 22 January, with the knockout rounds leading to a final in Abidjan on 11 February.

Everyone at the Club wishes both Yuta and Charles good luck for their upcoming tournaments!

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