Junichi Inamoto Secret Revealed! How He Can Stay at the Soccer’s Front Line at 42!
Special Interview with Junichi Inamoto, former Japan midfielder Joins "Nankatsu SC" (Kanto 1st Division), represented by Yoichi Takahashi, author of "Captain Tsubasa
The deciding factor for me was that I was approached at the very beginning. I felt the enthusiasm that they needed me, and it was very rewarding to be able to play soccer with this team. It doesn’t matter at all what category I am in or what my contract is. “
On January 18, “Nankatsu SC” announced the addition of former Japan national team member Junichi Inamoto (42). Nankatsu SC is a soccer club based in Katsushika-ku, Tokyo. Its predecessor was the Tokiwa Club, which was founded in 1983, but it was reorganized in 2001 when Yoichi Takahashi (61), the author of the popular manga “Captain Tsubasa,” became the club’s chairman of supporters. The name was changed to “Nankatsu SC,” which the main character, Tsubasa Ozora, belonged to in elementary school.
The team currently competes in the first division of the Kanto Soccer League, and aims to join the J-League in the future. However, in terms of league structure, J1 is the top division, followed by J2, J3, and J4. The Kanto Soccer League Division 1 is one category below the JFL.
Inamoto has participated in three World Cup tournaments and has a solid record with SC Sagamihara in J2 until last season. For fans, the entry of such a big name into the lower leagues came as a bolt out of the blue.
I don’t know if they need me in J1 right now, “he said. I am confident that I can do it, but J1 teams would rather take a promising youngster in his 20s than 42-year-old me. In this situation I felt that they had high expectations for my performance. That made me very happy.
I heard GM Yoshihiro Iwamoto’s desire to make it to the J-League at any cost, and I also heard about their plans to build a stadium and their momentum to move up two categories in the past two years. I thought they were a team with a lot of potential.
Of course, I know that I was invited to this meeting in order to let many people know about Nankatsu SC. I never thought I would be interviewed by Friday (laughs).
The secret to staying active is thorough self-discipline
Still, Inamoto will turn 43 this year. Although Inamoto is known for being extremely physically strong and sturdy among past national team members, he says that physical pain and minor injuries are a daily occurrence.
I don’t drink any alcohol, and I try not to consume anything that my body doesn’t need. I eat frequently at night, and I try to get at least eight hours of sleep.
His ability to exercise thorough self-discipline over the years and his strong mentality to sustain it are probably the reason he has been able to continue his active life. What is the driving force behind this?
I have an environment where I can enjoy kicking a ball with my friends. This is the biggest driving force. Kicking a ball is fun. If I thought about whether I could have the same amount of fun by quitting soccer and doing something else, I I am still able to do the same thing at the age of 42, so I can’t betray that now. To be honest, how long can I do this? How old do you want to be? I have no idea about such things. However, the fact that I enjoy playing soccer will not change no matter how old I get, and I want to play as long as the team needs me. That is why I will not do anything that is not necessary. That’s all there is to it.
Inamoto’s strength will still be needed for the young team. So what kind of contribution will he make this year?
I think it is important to share my experience and skills in the process, but the first thing I want to do is to go out and win games. I think it is important to share my experience and skills in the process, but the first thing I want to do is to go out and win games. hope that young players will see this attitude in me. Up until now, I have not tried to convey anything to anyone, but I hope that when they see that attitude, they will feel something. That’s what I want.
After the interview, Inamoto took the pitch and began leading a group of young players, including current university students. The back of Inamoto’s head was a
I’m still as good as you guys. “
That is what he seemed to be saying.
From the March 11, 2022 issue of FRIDAY
PHOTO： Shinji Hamasaki