Celtic confirm details of Japan and South Korea summer tour as 6 first-team stars set for Asia homecoming

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The Hoops are heading to the Far East this summer and will take part in an initial European training camp.

Celtic have confirmed their pre-season training plans with the club travelling to Japan and South Korea for a summer tour.

The Hoops, who have six players from the Asian nation within their ranks, will take part in a week-long visit of the two countries and further details of potential opposition will be announced in the coming days.

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Ange Postecoglou has brought a host of players across from the Far East to Parkhead, with Kyogo Furuhashi, Daizen Maeda, Reo Hatate, Yosuke Ideguchi, Yuki Kobayashi and Tomoki Iwata proving valuable additions.

As a result, the Scottish champions popularity has soared in the country, with Postecoglou also enjoying a successful spell in charge of Yokohama F. Marinos before he was lured to Glasgow. Rumours last month suggested they will play two friendly matches against J1-League opposition, with Yokohama or Vissel Kobe possible contenders. English Premier League side Wolves are another team believed to be under consideration.

The Parkhead club teased the news on social media by posting a host of video clips of players such as Jota, Greg Taylor and Matt O’Riley learning to write and eat in Japanese. It is understood members of Celtic’s marketing staff made several trips to Japan to lay the groundwork for the tour last year.

Celtic previously visited Japan in 2006 and the squad will also build up their fitness ahead of the 2023/24 season at an initial European training camp. An additional trip to South Korea will see striker Oh Hyeon-gyu welcomed back to his homeland.

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Speaking after the news was made official, Postecoglou said: “We are really looking forward to our summer tour to Japan, and we’re sure it will be hugely successful for the club and excellent preparation for next season.

“Clearly, Celtic has a real, long-standing connection with Japan, through previous visits and players such as Shunsuke Nakamura and, of course, now through our current squad members, so it will be great to visit and really bring this relationship to life.

“As we saw from our brilliant visit to Australia last year, the appetite for Celtic globally is huge and it is right that we maximise these great opportunities and show the world all that is great about our club. We wanted to pay respect to Japanese football so we are delighted to be engaging with the J-League and its clubs.

“Japanese football is on a real upward trajectory at the moment, so we know we will be facing real tests, something which will be great for the team as we go into the challenges of next season.”

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