Spanish legend Xavi Arnau appointed new Japanese women’s coach

Former Club de Campo boss Xavi Arnau has been appointed the new Japanese women’s coach as they look forward to the final run-in to the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021. 

He succeeds Anthony Farry who stepped down in October, making the move from his current base in Belgium where he was most recently T1 at White Star’s women and Racing Club de Bruxelles’ men. 

It is the latest step in a decorated career which saw him land 207 caps and 127 goals for Spain, including three Olympic campaigns in 1992, 1996 and 2000, including silver at Atlanta. He also won World Cup silver in 1998 in Utrecht. 

On the coaching front, he has been active for over 20 years, working with the Spanish women’s team when they won European silver in 2003 while he was a high performance coach with the Spanish men from 2009 to 2013, also heading up their Under-21 men’s programme for the Junior World Cup. 

On the club front, he won multiple titles with Club de Campo with a highlight seeing the Madrid club reach the final of the Euro Hockey League in 2011.  

With the Japanese side, he is straight into action with an important selection event on January 6, 2021 to assess potential players for the Olympic campaign.  

Speaking about the new role, Arnau said: “As the head coach of the “Sakura Japan’ team, I am grateful to everyone who has high expectations. We will do our best to bring the team to the best possible results at the Tokyo 2020 Games. The Tokyo 2020 Games are home games, so I think this is a great opportunity to get good results. 

“Sakura Japan is a really excellent team and I can’t wait to start working early to achieve great success with them.”