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Standard Liege keeper Kawashima welcomes competition

Eiji Kawashima says competition for a starting spot does not bother him as he goes about keeping his position for Standard Liege.

The 30-year old Japan international goalkeeper has kicked of the Belgian Pro League season with three clean sheets for top-of-the-table Standard and insists he is continuing to improve his game at the top level.

Kawashima also made it clear that the summer arrival of Frenchman Yohann Thuram has only added to his desire to remain Liege's number one ahead of the former Troyes man and youngster Anthony Moris.

"I'm just trying to get better day by day. I am 30 years old and is often said that, at this age, it is impossible to change, to evolve to a guard. I am ready to change and this is why I work hard every day," Kawashima told DH.be.

"I did not expect the competition to raise my level of play last season, there was also competition with Anthony Moris.

"What has changed? My concentration. I am much more focused than before. Concentration is the key to success. We should not relax our attention for a second. Every move is calculated."

Kawashima is currently with the Japanese side in Rifu for the Kirin Challenge Cup match against Uruguay at the Miyagi Stadium on Wednesday.

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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