For the primary time ever, the Fujimoto sisters will play on the identical skilled workforce with each other. Phrase was launched on Jul. eight, 2019 that each 28-year-old defender Nachi and her older sister Nana, a 30-year-old goaltender, will each be enjoying for Färjestad BK in Sweden’s second-tier league – Division 1 – for the 2019-20 season.
Whereas Nachi performed with Färjestad this previous season, this shall be Nana’s first with the workforce, and her first in Sweden as properly.
Each Fujimoto sisters are acquainted to North American followers. Nachi performed within the CWHL for the Boston Blades and Les Canadiennes de Montréal, whereas Nana was an inaugural member of the Metropolitan Riveters. Moreover, the 2 sisters have been teammates on the Japanese Ladies’s Nationwide Group on the IIHF Ladies’s World Championships.
Now the 2 sisters mixed will look to push Färjestad up from being a Division 1 workforce to a promotion into the SDHL (Svenska damhockeyligan).
“Really,” Nachi Fujimoto informed THW, “I used to be speaking to the GM about subsequent season after the tip of final season (2018-19). At the moment, I had informed him that my sister is involved in enjoying for FBK. After which, I returned to Japan and I linked her with him. Lastly, she has determined to play for FBK herself… She was saying that the hockey surroundings appear to be it was good for me, and the contract situation is nice too. So consequently, we are going to play collectively for FBK!”
Nachi spoke at size with THW shortly after the signings had been introduced. She shared on what it will likely be like enjoying along with her sister once more, and what expectations she has for the 2019-20 season.
Nachi’s Strong First Season With FBK
A major purpose in Fujimoto’s determination to return to FBK was the good quantity of success she had this previous season with the membership. She was almost a point-per-game participant along with her 5 objectives and 9 assists for 14 factors in 15 video games. These numbers led all FBK defenders in scoring, and positioned her fourth general amongst all skaters on the roster.
Not surprisingly, Fujimoto was in flip named FBK’s Participant of the 12 months. When it got here to the membership’s qualification video games for SDHL promotion, she led her workforce in scoring with a pair of objectives and an help in three video games. Sadly although, Skellefteå AIK dispelled FBK two video games to at least one.
Nachi Fujimoto was Färjestad BK’s Participant of the 12 months for the 2018-19 season (Photograph Credit score: Mats Bekkevold).
That being mentioned, the qualification loss solely additional intensified Fujimoto’s dedication to succeed in the SDHL in 2020. She feels that she has unfinished enterprise to take care of.
“(I’m) most excited that I’ll play with (Nana) for FBK,” Fujimoto mentioned about her look in direction of the season forward. “And naturally I’m excited to play with good ladies once more. In my case, I had a good time with them however we couldn’t attain the SDHL. So I assumed I wish to transfer to the SDHL with them.”
The Fujimotos’ Father Ensured That They Had been Taught Effectively
The primary and solely time that the Fujimoto sisters performed collectively internationally was on the 2008 IIHF Ladies’s World Championship in Harbin, China. They had been youngsters on the time, however it was one thing they’d labored their entire lives for.
Rising up and studying the sport in Japan, hockey has all the time been part of their lives.
“We began to play by the affect of our dad,” Fujimoto defined. “Principally, we realized in our native junior workforce and our native girls’s membership workforce. However particularly my sister had realized to the right way to play goalie from our dad. He had performed goalie since he was grownup, and he studied the right way to play goalie when Nana began enjoying goalie – she was 10 years previous. He taught her for a very long time, till she started representing Japan.”
Nana Fujimoto is a two-time Olympian goaltender for the Japanese Ladies’s Nationwide Group (CC BY-SA three.zero at (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/three.zero/at/deed.en)), through Wikimedia Commons).
Despite the fact that their father had an affinity for the goaltending place, he nonetheless ensured that Nachi obtained correct tutelage on protection.
“In my case,” Fujimoto recalled, “my dad employed knowledgeable coach who was Japanese, and who bought a training license fromCanada for me. He gave me personal classes for a very long time as a result of (my dad) can educate solely goalkeeper,” she laughed. “However completely – I recognize his assist and efforts.”
Placing within the Arduous Work
Talking of effort, Fujimoto isn’t any stranger to placing in loads of laborious work herself. Once you converse along with her, it’s straightforward to get a way of her willpower. It permeates via her phrases when discussing FBK’s upcoming season.
Fujimoto is placing in a ton of effort in the course of the 2019 offseason, and her sister Nana is just too.
“Really, I’ve been coaching each on and off-ice since April,” mentioned Fujimoto. “I’ve been becoming a member of the on-ice practices with a males’s workforce from the native college, and naturally, my Japanese membership workforce too, Vortex Sapporo. Off-ice coaching is completed on my own or typically I’m doing it with a hockey good friend who performed within the ECHL final season.”
Nachi Fujimoto has been placing in loads of laborious work each on-ice and off in the course of the 2019 offseason. She feels that she and her sister Nana are primed for Färjestad BK’s 2019-20 opening recreation (Photograph Credit score: Mats Bekkevold).
Along with being an unique NWHLer and an All-Star for that league, goaltender Nana is arguably the face of Japanese hockey. 4 occasions she has represented her nation within the High Division of the Ladies’s World Championships. Twice Nana has been an Olympian – on the 2014 Sochi Winter Video games, and most lately in 2018 at PyeongChang.
“Nana has additionally joined the identical practices from the center of June,” Nachi shared. “Off-ice coaching she is doing along with her private coach or by herself.
“I positively can say that we’re prepared for the opener recreation,” she mentioned confidently.
“We Are Prepared for the Opener”
FBK appears to be a aggressive workforce this season it doesn’t matter what. High scorer Josefin Lindström is again once more, as are among the different dependable gamers from 2018-19 like Julia Pettersson, Emma Thomann, and Julia Martinsson.
Nana Fujimoto won’t be the workforce’s solely high quality goalie both. The duo of Lina Eriksson and Linda Glädt are nonetheless within the fold as properly.
That being mentioned, Nachi is aware of her tasks regardless, however could be mendacity if she mentioned having her sister within the crease won’t be some extra reassurance.
“I don’t care that the goalie is Nana or not – I don’t change my play, as a result of it’s clear what I ought to do”, Fujimoto acknowledged. “But when (Nana) is behind me, I can play with confidence. So I feel I can play properly on each offense and protection as a result of she is certainly one of best goalies, and I belief her. I imagine that she will cease all of photographs.”
A confidence that offers her the desire to take extra possibilities ought to imply Nachi Fujimoto’s offensive numbers go up much more. Having scored a lone objective and a single help throughout her 39 profession CWHL video games, FBK goes to rely on her to deliver factors from the again finish. It could not be stunning if Fujimoto raised her numbers one other 5 or 6 factors (if no more) this time round and be higher than a point-per-game blueliner.
Numbers are secondary although to what she needs to perform along with her teammates. That doesn’t imply although that she doesn’t notice that her scoring may be the distinction between profitable and shedding for Färjestad.
“Initially,” Fujimoto mentioned firmly, “I’ll do the whole lot with my full energy to contribute and attain the SDHL. Second, I’ll do higher stats than final season. And at last, I wish to get pleasure from hockey with my sister”.