Japan’s Jun Endo was named the AFC Youth Player of the Year (Women) at the 2019 Annual Awards after a series of brilliant performances over the past year.
Endo first donned the Japan national team jersey in 2014 when she competed in the AFC U-14 Girls’ Regional Championship, before playing in the AFC U-16 Women’s Championship a year later, scoring twice against Thailand in the semi-finals with Japan eventually losing 1-0 to DPR Korea in the final.
On top of being part of Continental action at such a young age, the winger also experienced the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan and she didn’t disappoint, scoring three goals as Japan finished runners-up to DPR Korea, losing on penalties in the decider.
Endo graduated to the Japan U-19 team at the age of 17. She played a key role as the young Nadeshiko claimed their fifth AFC U-19 Women’s Championship title.
A year later, Endo was in France for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, where she opened the scoring against Germany in the quarter-finals, before sealing a semi-final win against England with her effort as Japan went on to claim a first-ever title.
Her performances didn’t go unnoticed as head coach Asako Takakura called her up for senior national team duty at the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019.
Endo also played a pivotal role in her club Nippon TV Beleza winning the inaugural AFC Women’s Club Championship on Saturday.