Meet the players part 3 – the goalkeepers

Today’s meet the players will focus on the two first team goalkeepers, Tatsuya Murao and Daichi Shibata. Both ‘keepers are currently playing in their first seasons for Fujieda and are currently battling in out for the number 1 shirt.

Tatsuya Murao

Name: Tatsuya Murao
Age: 25
Position: Goalkeeper
Nationality: Japanese
Joined Fujieda: January 2013
2012 appearances (goals): N/A

Murao joined J League Division 2 club FC Gifu in 2010 after graduating from the Miyazaki Sangyo-keiei University in Miyazaki, southern Japan. In his first season at the club, the then 21 year old, was second choice to Kyohei Noda for the majority of the season, sitting on the bench for thirty-three matches. However, he played in three consecutive games at the end of September into early October with Noda out injured. In this spell Gifu won two and drew the other as well as only conceding one goal in this period. However, this was not enough to impress the Gifu coach and he was relegated back to the bench.

2011 was a strange season for FC Gifu goalkeepers with the manager, Takahiro Kimura,  not settling on his first choice goalkeeper throughout the season so Murao was therefore in and out of the squad. In total he made ten appearances, nine starts (eight in a row from May to July) and then one sub appearance after Noda picked up a knock. Although Murao enjoyed more playing time this season he was also out of the side for large parts of it as Goro Kawanami was also battling it out for the number one jersey and he was dropped to third choice for a spell because of this.

He failed to make any appearances in 2012 so made the move to MYFC this season where he started the first two games.

Daichi Shibata

Name: Daichi Shibata
Age: 22
Position: Goalkeeper
Nationality: Japanese
Joined Fujieda: February 2013
2012 appearances (goals): N/A

Shibata is in his first season of club football this year as he joins Fujieda from Biwako Seikei Sport College in the Kansai region of Japan. At the age of 22 and at a height on 181cm, he is three years younger and nine centimetres smaller than his teammate and rival Murao.

He goes into this season without any experience of the JFL or the J League but that has changed this season and MYFC manager, Toshihide Saito, seems impressed with the youngster. He made his career debut on the 24th March 2013, in Fujieda’s 2-0 win over Mio and played well enough to keep his spot in the starting lineup for yesterday’s match against Sagawa Printing, where he kept his second clean sheet in a row.

This year is certainly going to be interesting in terms of who starts in goal. Murao played the first two, while Shibata has played the second two games since. The latter has kept two clean sheets so far but Murao has J2 experience so we will have to wait and see who starts the next game.

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