Arsenal Ladies landed in Japan on Friday ahead of their three-match tour of the country. Laura Harvey, Jayne Ludlow and Katie Chapman were present at their first press conference.

You can read the full transcript below.

on the tour...
LH: "We’re very grateful for the opportunity to come to Japan. We hope that the games, especially on the 30th  (against INAC Kobe at Tokyo’s National Stadium), can be a real show case for the women’s game. Japan are the holders of the Women’s World Cup and  we want to get as many people down as possible to raise funds for the relief effort."

on Japanese teams…
: "The women’s game has been developing fast in Japan over the last five to 10 years, in a similar way to in England. And not just with the senior team winning the World Cup – but also the achievements at U-17 and U-20 level. The game’s been developing for a long time and obviously they got their reward this year with the World Cup. Now they are probably one of the outside top ranked sides in the world.

"To be able to come over here and get the chance to play against the those involved in the World Cup is an honour really and a great chance to see where we are as a team as well."

on INAC Kobe…
LH: "We know many of the players in the team – obviously from the exposure they have had at a national team level this year. However, we don’t get to see too much of the Japanese league over in England so it’s been quite tough getting information on them."

on learning from Japan’s successes…

LH: "A lot of other teams around the world are now looking at what’s happening in Japan, how they’re doing and what they’re doing. We’d like to try and learn off some of the teams while we are here too, and maybe take some things that they do back with us back to England."

on bringing Japanese players to Arsenal…

LH: "There are always attractive players when you’re looking at a team that’s won the World Cup. In terms of Japanese players coming to play for Arsenal – we’d never close the door on the possibility, and we’re always open to players when they are good enough and who we think are right for our team, wherever they may be from.

"The relationship that we have with the college means it is something that we are looking at in the future and we are trying to get things in place so that this may happen at some stage. We’ve no specific players in mind at the moment though.”

JL: “From a players’ point of view, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to come to Japan, and to play some great players. But also, we can’t wait to take in the culture and scenery, and learn what life is like in Japan. I know there was a question mark about us coming because of the recent tragedy, but us players couldn’t wait to come out here.”

KC: "These are going to be great games to play in,  against great players and just to see where we stand against those players  will be very valuable. It’s going to be a great game to watch and we hope you all enjoy it."

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25 Nov 2011