YUKI OGIMI FEELING GOOD ON HOME SOIL
Yuki Ogimi is in confident mood as she prepares to captain Chelsea Ladies against Sydney FC in the International Women's Club Championship.
The Japanese World Cup winner is manager Emma Hayes' skipper for the invitational tournament in Japan and will lead the team out at the Kanko Stadium in Okayama in front of an adoring home crowd at 6.30pm local time on Wednesday.
Sydney FC beat Japanese league and cup runners up NTZ Beleza to reach the semi-final stage on Saturday while Chelsea Ladies arrived 24 hours later and have been busy acclimatising to their new surroundings and bedding in several new signings.
And Ogimi, who has over 100 caps for Japan, has seen enough since her teammates touched down in the country of her birth to believe they are capable of seeing off their Australian rivals and booking a place in Sunday's final in Tokyo.
'We definitely want to win against Sydney FC and go to the final in Tokyo,' said Ogimi.
'It will be difficult match for us because they beat NTV Beleza which is my former club so they are a good side, but we are feeling good about our chances.
'Personally I didn't have any jet lag and my condition is very good. We want to play our own style of football and to get a ticket to Tokyo to try and win the competition.'
Should Chelsea get the better of Sydney they will travel to Tokyo to face either Japanese double winners INAC Kobe Leonessa or South American side Colo Colo.
Reaching the final would be a major boost for Chelsea Ladies ahead of the Women's Super League, which gets underway in April, and Ogimi is determined to ensure that happens.
'Chelsea Ladies FC is still young club but I think we have huge potential to be major club in the world,' she added.
'This tournament is the first step to getting to the top and to win is the big aim. We want to do our best and get a win tomorrow.'