Monday 30 January 2017

New players, part 3: Michael James Fitzgerald & William Popp

Part 3 of my pre-season new player round up. Once again, most information is swiped from Wikipedia and the photos swiped from the Frontale website. Sorry!

Michael James Fitzgerald

Squad number - 29
Position - Defender

D.O.B. - 
17th September 1998
Height -1.85m

Signed from Albirex Niigata, Michael James Fitzgerald was born and raised in New Zealand (who he has represented at international level three times) but is now a Japanese citizen (since 2013). He started his Japanese football career at Seiritsu Gakuen High School and then joined Albirex in 2008. During his time there he had a couple of loan spells at Zweigen Kanazawa and V-Varen Nagasaki before establishing himself as a semi-regular starter in the Albirex team. In 2016 he played for them 22 times and scored his first goal. Given that they almost went down last year, I hope he played in the games when they defended well and was absent for the big defeats. Seems to play in central defence which would make sense given his height. The name on his shirt will be 'Michael', he seems to be referred to online mostly as Michael James, but his surname actually seems to be Fitzgerald, so who knows what I'll be calling him for the rest of the season.

William Popp

Squad number - 31
Position - Goalkeeper
D.O.B. - 21st October 1994

Height - 1.91m

Our new (probably 4th choice, I guess) goalkeeper. William Popp was born in Tokyo to a Japanese mother and American father. We signed him from Tokyo Verdy, where he came through the youth system, but he only seems to have played for them once. Last season he went to FC Gifu on loan and only played a handful of games there too, so he's still young and inexperienced, but maybe this is the kind of player we want as our 4th choice keeper. Someone who can improve from working with the keepers we have. Not sure he'll see much first team action this year, but good luck to him!

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