My tribe

Plymouth trials for Japan midfielder Akihiro Ienaga

Japan international midfielder Akihiro Ienaga is trialling with Plymouth Argyle. "We have a Japanese friend with us at the moment," Pilgrims boss Paul Sturrock told the club's official website.

"He is with us for a set period of time for us to have a taste of Japanese style, and for me to have a clearer picture of what they are like.

"I will also be looking to see if he is of the standard required to play for us."

The arrival of Ienaga is part of Plymouth's ongoing relationship with K&K Shonan Management, who have a presence on the Home Park board in the form of director Yasuaki Kagami.

"We are always going to have a connection with the Japanese and I am quite happy to have a look," Sturrock added.

"I am happy to see how he handles the British game because that will be the determining factor on whether we have Japanese players or not.

"It is bad enough at times for some of the European players adapting to the British game, so I need a clearer picture of these players.

"He looks a technically gifted player but the first thing I noticed today (Thursday) was the pace of the game was in the frightening category for him. They (Japanese players) are hard-working, fit lads.

"I have had French players who have not adapted, but David Friio (former Pilgrims midfielder) adapted after the first day."

Ienaga has progressed through the youth ranks at Gamba Osaka and made his J. League debut for the club in 2004.

He spent a season on-loan at Oita Trinita in 2007 and made his only international appearance to date in a 2-0 victory over Peru in March 2007.

About the author

Tribal Football Staff

Have your say
  • Add your favourite leagues and clubs
  • Build your own personal news stream
  • Easily share your favourite stories
  • Connect with what your friends are saying

Select your favourite
leagues and clubs
to get started.

Already part of MyTribe?