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HIRATSUKA, Kanagawa Pref. — Following a four-year spell as assistant coach to the Japan national team, new Shonan Bellmare manager Samir plans to introduce a playing system that mirrors that used by the national team in his quest to win promotion to Division One.

“I’d like to bring in the playing system that Japan used. That system was employed to accommodate the characteristics of Japanese players,” Samir said in his first press conference at Bellmare on Sunday at a Hiratsuka hotel.

The 41-year-old Moroccan manager, who inked a one-year deal with Shonan, disclosed his own analysis on Japanese players and stressed the need for collective play.

“Japan proved its strength in the World Cup because the team played collectively. The Japanese players are brought up to work as a group from a young age. I’d like to take advantage of that,” he said.

Samir pointed out that Japanese players are technically good but the tactical aspect of their game needs to be improved.

“I think Japanese soccer is better suited to a European style rather than a Brazilian style. The Brazilian game is more based on individual play and that is not always good for the group. We need collectiveness,” said Samir, who over the last four years often visited J. League clubs in search of potential talent for the national team.

For the coming season, which runs from March 15 to Nov. 23, Bellmare has recruited 10 new players, including Columbia’s 1998 World Cup forward Hamilton Ricard. The 29-year-old Ricard played for Middlesbrough from 1998-2002, during which he helped Middlesbrough win promotion to the Premier League.

“I was asked to do the same thing here,” Ricard said. “I like a challenge and want to help the club here with my experience. I know how to do that.”

Sapporo inks Will

SAPPORO (Kyodo) Consadole Sapporo, relegated to the J. League’s second division, has signed a one-year loan deal with Brazilian striker Will, who was axed by Yokohama F Marinos in October after kicking a teammate during a match, Sapporo officials said Saturday.

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