Shuya Yamashita - Our Newest Samurai!
Updated: Feb 27, 2022
For the 2022 season, we have decided to bolster our defence with a player that has given many SPL forwards a hard time during the 2021 campaign.
We are pleased to announce the signing of the one, the only, “Shuya-Saiyan” - Shuya Yamashita who joins us after spending last season with Albirex Niigata.
The 23-year old Japanese central defender is excited to join the Stags and reveals that after watching them play in the AFC Champions League, he was enthralled by the team’s progressive football. Even against the likes of Jeonbuk and Gamba, the team did not back down in the face of adversity and stuck to their system of play.
Shuya was also mesmerized by the fact that the Stags rubbed shoulders with Gamba Osaka’s Gen Shoji, one of his favourite Japanese players right now, during the Champions League fixtures.
“When Tampines Rovers came to me with an offer, I accepted it without hesitation,” mentions the 22 year old. “After seeing them in the AFC Champions League, I really want to be there too and I do believe that the club has what it takes to return to that competition.”
Reflecting on his stint with Albirex Niigata, Shuya does concede that the feeling of narrowly missing out on the title still stings, and he’s using that feeling to motivate him for the upcoming season.
“Last year, I learnt how difficult it was to keep winning and how painful it was to lose important games which cost us the title,” shares Shuya. “At Tampines, I want to promote the importance of winning and encourage my fellow teammates to give it our all.”
Shuya has already begun training sessions with the Stags but while he may be new to the club, he does not feel like a stranger.
“I feel so welcome and the whole team is like one big family. Everyone is warm and kind to me.”
Shuya’s arrival is an important one, and head coach Gavin Lee shares his thoughts as to the decision-making process behind Shuya’s recruitment.
“We recognise that last season, we didn't do well enough as a team to stop goals. The main idea is for us to return to defensive records from seasons before as we look to win more games.”
While he may only be 22 years old, Gavin is handing Shuya responsibility to lead a younger back line. Yet, this isn’t Shuya’s first rodeo and Gavin believes Shuya to be a key part of the squad.
“Shuya demonstrated the ability to organise the back line while at Albirex, on top of being good with aerial duels. He is also capable of adding a different tool to our toolbox when we look to build up to create chances.”
The whole squad seems upbeat about Shuya’s arrival as they continue to train together as one cohesive unit for the upcoming season. With the league slated to start in about two months' time, the Stags are putting in the hard work and getting primed for the 2022 campaign.
Whether you’ll be at Our Tampines Hub when the season rolls around, or catching the games at home, be sure to keep a lookout for our new No. 4 - Shuya Yamashita!