Captain might be one of the most important persons in a team. In fact, the good leadership need to be developed since a player’s early age. In Gothia Cup China 2018, we’ve met a lot of young captains and talked to them about their different feelings on this position.
Almost all captains mentioned ‘leadership’ . In Vissel Kobe’s 12-year-old teams, they change their captain every day, this is another way to promote teenagers’ leadership.
“The most important thing for a captain is the leadership,” Hinato Matsui said. He is the captain of Tokyo Verdy’s youth team. “As a captain, besides being able to encourage your teammates and let them be more active, you should also try to push the whole team to work hard,” added Hinato.
Hinato Matsui is a defender in Tokyo Verdy’s U17 team.
The captain of Cheonan FC, Hyo In, 13, told us his thought about his responsibility: “My teammates and I are still very young, I should lead them as their captain.”
Hyo In believes his good relationship with all other boys in the team made him become the captain.
A Canadian captain also expressed the similar idea, he believes that a captain must can be able to support the whole team during the tough time, “When they are not doing well, you gonna do as best as possible.”
His manager had told the 15-year old footballer: “Making sure that you’re responsible to people who is in your team. They mess up, you mess up.”
Under such a highly-required condition, many captains that we’ve seen, no matter how long they’ve been on the position, they still have improved a lot from the experience.
Nakao Yugo, 14, who has become the captain of J-L Juniors for only three days, shared what he has learnt with us: “I helped my coach during the training,” said Nakao, “that makes me have learnt how to manage a team and how to lead them on the field.”
“I was elected by the others, so I don’t want to let them down,” he added.
Li De’en, the captain of Shandong Luneng FC U17 team said: “Compared with just being a player, I need to be stricter with myself,”
“For example, my concept of time has been improved a lot. Because I’m supposed to remind the other players to be on time,” added him.
The 17-year-old boy has played in Luneng’s youth camp system for six years in total. He has become the leader in his team for no more than half a year, he summed up his secret of how to be a good captain.
“You need to be friendly to your teammates and, of course, you should have enough persuasiveness. I always do more than others,“he said.
It is necessary for a captain to be better than anyone else. FC Gifu’s captain, Kai Mizushima,15, said he is not so sure about why his coach let him be the leader, but he thinks that is because of his skills.
Gifu’s manager said Kai has the potential to play in Japanese U15 national team
“Club’s officer asked me to be the leader. Maybe they think that I played much better than others. Now I’m doing my best as a captain for the team.”
His idol is Barcelona’s captain Gerard Pique, but he also appreciates Real Madrid’s captain Sergio Ramos. “I want to have the fighting spirit as Ramos has,” said Kai, “and he defends well for his side whenever he plays.”
All games of the tournament have entered into the knock-out round. Let’s wish all teams can have a satisfying result.
By Miranda Cui