From the diary of Shinji Ono: 'As I write this we’ve been back in Rotterdam for just under a week. The training camp in Gran Canaria was a great success as far as I am concerned. It was nice and warm and we were able to prepare well for the second half of the season. The first week of January in Holland was a different matter. When I got back from my vacation in Japan, I was a little stunned by the cold here.'

I had a really great holiday, by the way. I enjoyed snowboarding in the Japanese winter sports region Naeba, under a wonderful winter sun. After that it’s torture walking in the scything wind here... So, the training camp was a success. You do little else but train, eat and sleep, it’s true, but I don’t mind that. Sleeping is a big hobby of mine anyway, and the company was very good. We all went out together once and that is very good, I think, for a football team. Certainly for me, because I cannot communicate with everyone as well as I would like yet. When you go out it all becomes a lot easier and you notice that it boosts the general atmosphere. I really feel at home in this team. After the results in Gran Canaria I am looking forward to the second half of the season with confidence. It all makes you feel that the team is sharp and is hungry for the title. That is a clear goal for me too. On top of that, I’d like to play more consistently. The World Cup isn’t in my head yet. I have to concentrate on Feyenoord first. I don’t think I’ll have to go off with Japan for games much in the next few months either, no more than once or twice. One positive development is that competition in the Japanese team is getting stronger and stronger. For my position, for example, you now have Alex, a naturalized Japanese from Brazil, and a couple more good players. That can only be constructive, because it keeps me on my toes. In the Japanese team and at Feyenoord, we can only spur each other on to better things.
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