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We felt all of your support while in Germany.(DL#11KJ)




Hello Seagulls nation! I hope all of you are doing well and are excited about the upcoming Pearl Bowl tournament games. We are all very excited about the upcoming games, and please about our last game's result and overall experience in Germany.

The game that took place on the 19th between the Obic Seagulls and Dresden Monarchs was the first time that a club team from Japan played against an international opponent. Everything about this game and trip was new to us. As a team we pride ourselves on being pioneers and being actively involved in changing the direction of, and growing the sport of American football in Japan.


Not only was this experience a first for our team, it was a first for the majority of our players and staff who have no national team experience. I am one of the majorities who prior to this trip had never experience playing in an international match. In the days leading up to the game, I had a mix of nervous and anxious feelings. I didn't really know what to expect, but I was excited to be a part of history being made.


We were on a very tight schedule. We would leave and arrive on Thursday, practice on Friday, play the game on Saturday, and then finally allowed to rest on Sunday before coming home Monday morning. Coach Ohashi always stresses the importance of being able to adapt, adjust, and overcome any situation. The travel, time difference, and new environment would definitely be a challenge for us, but in order for us to become the team that we want to become these would be some of the things that we would have to face and overcome.





rock201205251.jpg It is a very early morning…. The meeting time for us is 7:45 am at Narita airport. Everyone was excited, yet everyone's faces were exhausted. We rode on the largest passenger plane in the world! The Airbus A380! It has two stories and is extremely large. It's hard to believe that something that big can fly. Being that the plane was large, there was a little more space between seats than in normal sized planes. Also, the plane was not full so some players were able to stretch out and use more than one seat. 


11 hours to Frankfurt, then about 40 minutes from Frankfurt to Dresden. My group arrived at the hotel just outside of Dresden around 6 or so in the evening. Surprisingly it is still very bright outside. It wouldn't start to get dark until around 9pm. Time to eat! There was not much around our hotel, therefore we took the bus into Dresden, walked around the center of the city a bit, and ate steaks at one of the local restaurants. After dinner it was back to the hotel and the end of a long day of travel.





rock201205252.jpg Friday would be a day full of events. We were up early for breakfast then had meetings at the hotel afterwards. After meetings and a short break, it was off to practice at the Dresden Monarchs practice facility. Although it was a light practice, we kept the tempo high, focused on the details of the game plan, and cleaned-up all loose ends. Next up… The game! Until this point we have done just about everything that we could do to prepare for the game. Our opponent would be bigger than us, stronger than us, but we wouldn't let that stop us. We put together a game plan that we thought would allow us to play to our strengths and give us a chance to win. The only thing left to do was to play!


After practice, a quick shower and change of clothes we headed to Glucksgas station for a quick look at the stadium and field that we would be playing at. It was a recently built, first class facility which is mainly used as the home stadium for the Bundesliga 2nd tier organization, the Dynamo Dresden.


After the stadium tour there was an organized event at one of the Monarchs sponsor restaurants. We would be treated to delicious sausages and drinks.  The event was an opportunity for both teams and staff to meet with one another, talk, and interact. Language was not as big of a problem as you may think. Although none of us speak German and none of the Monarchs speak Japanese, we are all football players and that alone enabled us to communicate with each other in only a way that people involved with our sport know.

My first impression with the Monarchs was that they were all really big. Much bigger than the players that we are used to playing against. The star of the afternoon get-together was definitely the star left offensive tackle for the Monarchs. He stood at 207cm and weighed about 150 kg. Wow! This is who I would have to play against!? Although some of the sizes of the Monarchs players made them look like monsters, they were all very friendly and welcoming. We talked a bit about football, German food, and the city of Dresden itself.

After our gathering with the Monarchs we took a boat tour down the river Elbe. The trip down the river took us by some historic buildings and sites in the city. The architecture in the Baroque architecture in central Dresden was amazing. Much of the cities architectural treasures have been recently rebuilt after being destroyed by allied bombing during World War II. It was truly a beautiful sight to see. After the tour, we went on to another sponsor restaurant for dinner. After dinner we proceeded back to the hotel and day number two was over.




(Photo: Touchdown / Hirobumi Kamimura)

rock201205253.JPG Game Day!!! The kick-off time was set at 6p.m., therefore we had a lot of time leading up until the game. After breakfast many of us went into town to relax, eat, and do a little shopping. I felt that this was a good way for us to stay calm, relaxed, and not too anxious about the game.

After a bit of time in town, we headed back to the hotel and began to prepare for the game. The buses left at 2pm for the stadium. Once there everything was the same as usual. Our normal routine of stretching, and warming up before the game was the same as before any other game. It was a bowl game, therefore there was an entrance ceremony as well as the singing of the respective national anthems.


Once the game began, it was back to the basics. Running, tackling, blocking, etc. It felt a little bit different to be playing such a bigger opponent. Not only were they big, they spoke in a mix of German and English, and came from a totally different background. An interesting thing that I found out while playing was that the starting running back for the Monarchs was a player that I had previously played against in college. The same running back happened to be teammates with Noriaki Kinoshita in NFL Europe. What a small world.


We started off the game with a solid stop on defense, and offense was able to score on the opening drive. This quick start set the tone for the rest of the game and for the most part we were able to do what we wanted to do on both sides of the ball. We didn't start off so well in the second half. We started with a turnover which led to a scoring drive by the Monarchs. Defensive missed several key tackles and opportunities to close out the game early in the second half. After a run by the Monarchs we managed to settle down and get back to the things that we wanted to do. We made some key stops on defense, and offense put the ball in the end zone a few more times to put the game out of reach. There were a lot of positive play and things that we were able to do against the Monarchs. There were also some fundamental things that we need to clean up in order to become the kind of team that we want to be this season.



rock201205254.jpg This was an amazing experience for the team and me. Our team made history by becoming the first team to take on such a challenge. I'm proud of what we have been able to accomplish. The season has just begun and we have already accomplished so many things, but that doesn't take away from our ultimate goal for this year. It all doesn't mean anything if we don't win. I believe that we are a stronger team because of this experience, and there are many lessons that can be taken away from our time in Germany. I hope that this is just the beginning of something much larger that would grow the sport internationally and highlight the quality of play in Japan.  


Thank you very much for all of your support from Japan. We felt it while in Germany and believe that it gave us the extra power we needed to win. Thank you again! We look forward to our next game here in Japan. We ask that you all come out and be a part of the movement. The CONQUEST of 2012!


Go Seagulls!!!



KJ's Photo Album(Facebook) 

 Dresden, Germany 2012  Prague, Czech Republic 2012




19日に行われたオービックシーガルズとドレスデン モナークスの試合は、日本のクラブチームとしては初めての国際試合でした。試合も遠征もすべてが私たちにとって初めてのこと。シーガルズがパイオニアとなり、日本のアメリカンフットボールを積極的に変えようとしていることを私たちは誇りに思っています。








とても朝が早く、成田空港集合は7時45分。みんな興奮してはいましたが、まだだるそうな表情でした。私たちは世界一大きい旅客機に乗り込みました。エアバスのA380です! 2階建てで非常に大きい。あんな大きいものが飛ぶなんて信じられません。機体が大きいので、普通の飛行機より座席の間隔が少し広い。そのうえ満席ではなかったので、複数の座席をゆったり使えた選手もいました。





金曜日はイベントがいっぱい。早起きして朝食をとり、ホテルでミーティングをしました。ミーティングを終えて少し休んだ後、ドレスデン モナークスの練習場へ。軽い練習にも関わらず、私たちはテンポよく、ゲームプランの細部に集中し、すべての課題を片付けました。いよいよ次は試合です! 私たちは準備できることをすべてやってきました。相手は私たちより大きくて強靭ですが、そんなことは関係なく、自分たち強みを生かし、勝てるゲームプランをまとめてきました。あとはプレーするだけ。




私のモナークスの選手たちに対する第一印象は、みんな本当に大きいということでした。いつも対戦している選手たちよりずっと大きい。この日の主役はモナークスの左オフェンスタックルでした。彼は207cmで約150キロ。Wow! この選手が私の対面とは?! サイズのせいで怪物のように見えた選手もいましたが、みんな親しみやすく友好的でした。私たちはフットボールやドイツの食べ物、ドレスデンの街についてしばし語らいました。







ゲームデーです!!!  キックオフは午後6時なので、試合までは時間がたくさんありました。朝食後、多くの選手が街へ出て、リラックスしたり、食べたり、少し買い物をしたりしました。これは穏やかな、リラックスした状態を保ち、試合についてあまり気にかけないいい方法だと私は感じました。







日本からのみなさんのサポートにたいへん感謝しています。ドイツにいる間、みなさんの応援を感じていましたし、私たちが勝つために必要だった、たいへん大きなパワーを与えてくれました。あらためて、ありがとうございました。ここ日本での、次の試合を楽しみにしています。みなさんの参戦をよろしくお願いします。 The CONQUEST of 2012! Go Seagulls!!!