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Captain Sato wants 3rd cup triumph

by James Mulligan

JEF United Chiba’s Yuto Sato is the exact opposite of Amar Osim — he sounds like he is actually looking forward to the new season.

The spring in Sato’s step may have something to do with the midfielder being the new JEF captain, after the departure of Yuki Abe.

The 25-year-old, who made his national team debut last year, was in a bullish mood when The Japan Times spoke to him, as he targeted more cup success and an improved league position in 2007.

“We’ve won the Nabisco Cup two years in a row, so we definitely want to go for the third straight,” Sato said. “Meanwhile, we didn’t do very good in the league games, so we want to be in a place where we can aim at the championship.”

Sato, the twin brother of Sanfrecce Hiroshima hit man Hisato Sato, is entering his eighth season as a JEF player and said his memories of JEF’s ups and downs over the years drives him on.

“I, for one, want to do better than last year, for sure,” Sato said.

“The number of players who know the old JEF days has decreased, but I am one of those who remembers. So I want to do whatever it takes to win.

“I want the fans to look forward to the season. We are going to work hard and play aggressively.”