The young gun – Hiroyoshi Kamata, Albirex Niigata S

Still just a teenager, Hiroyoshi Kamata has arrived in Singapore determined to make an impact with Albirex Niigata...

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When a footballer is not selected for a match and has to watch his team play from the sidelines, it can be all-too common for them to throw tantrums or kick up a fuss – cue Mario Balotelli and Diego Costa.

But not Hiroyoshi Kamata. During Albirex Niigata’s training game last month against Young Lions, he was the only one, out of 25 players, to not feature. Instead of just watching on, however, he was doing laps around the Clementi stadium and working on his cardio throughout the match.

I think if I show my ability with this type of team I will be able to do well

Kamata, 18, is a fresh import straight from Albirex Niigata under-18 side in Japan and the forward has also played for the under-15 and under-17 Japanese national team.

Standing at 1.64m, Kamata says he intends to play like the former Japanese international Tatsuya Tanaka – using his physique to his advantage with quick dribbling and pace.

“I model myself after Tanaka, my playing style is similar to him and my attitude is very serious, just like him,” he told FourFourTwo.

While his teammate Tatshuro Inui was goofing around with the equipment after the match and having a laugh, Kamata was still doing his cardio in another corner. Everything about Kamata suggested that he is reserved, down to earth and very serious about his craft.

He doesn’t watch football and is all about performing on the pitch. If he continues to be patient, perhaps the budding start can grab his chance this upcoming season for Albirex.

Standing in his way, however, is a player who is completely opposite to him and seems to be the preferred choice for coach Naoki Naruo – the 1.9m Kazuki Mine.

“I think if I show my ability with this type of team I will be able to do well,” Kamata said.

“I want to be in the starting 11, I want score goals. I heard the players in the S-League are physical. Since I am a small player, I want to prevent body contact, but I am looking forward to the physicality and being on the pitch as much as possible.”

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Photo: Albirex Niigata (S)