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Gregorious signs with Japanese club

For Gregorius, who has 53 caps to her name for the senior New Zealand side, the move adds further international club experience to a career which has seen the striker turn out for German club Bad Neuenahr and English heavyweights Liverpool FC.
The 26-year-old said the switch has come thanks in part to the Football Ferns trip to Japan in May which saw the New Zealand side edged 2-1 by the world number three side in Osaka.
“It was basically a happy by-product of our game in Japan and some contact that I had with a couple of people over there which coincided with them being able to come and watch us play,” Gregorius said.
“Everything sort of fell into place in that sense, it was on the radar for me but having the Ferns game over there helped me push it big time.”
Gregorius acknowledges the move – until the league finishes in December – will be a new experience off the field but one the striker is eager to get underway.
“I think that’s the best part about playing a global game like football, it takes you to places that you otherwise wouldn’t go to at all.
“It’s hard to have expectations and to imagine what it’s going to be like because it’s a completely different culture to anything I’ve experienced before but I can’t wait.”
On the field, Gregorius says the move comes at a great time with the move to the Nadeshiko League set to benefit herself and the Football Ferns in general terms.
“It’s a really exciting place to be in terms of the way elite women’s football is there. Japan are the world champions and have won age-group titles as well, so they are obviously doing something right.
“The Japanese style of football suits someone like me, they tend to be a little bit smaller and they play very quick and very technical and that’s a part of my game I really want to improve on.
“On the pitch it seems like it could be an ideal fit for me and it’s those sorts of skills and that type of play I want to bring back to the Ferns as well. As we move into possession-based type play, it’s an ideal place for me to be learning that from the best.”
Gregorius has been training with the Auckland based Ferns players, linking with the preparations of the Junior Football Ferns who leave New Zealand next week for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Canada.
“I’ve been with the U-20s for the most part and it’s actually been quite cool to see them ramp up their efforts because they head off soon for their World Cup.”
Gregorius will depart on her own adventure on August 4th.
Story courtesy of www.nzfootball.co.nz


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