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|Full name||Michito Sakaki|
|Date of birth||19 May 1983|
|Place of birth||Japan|
|Height||5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 1 August 2006.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 6 September 2006
Michito has achieved recognition as currently being one of the best and most successful players to learn and play the game outside of Australia.
Sakaki was originally a talented university soccer player at Waseda University. He was spotted playing soccer by an expatriate Australian, one of the members of the Tokyo Goannas, who convinced him to try Aussie Rules as well. Sakaki took quickly to Australian Football and began playing for the university's Australian Rules club, proving good enough to be selected in the national side.
Michito represented the Samurai, the Japanese national Australian Rules team, captaining the side in the Australian Football International Cups in both 2002 and 2005. In 2005, he was awarded with the best and fairest player for Japan in the competition.
A small midfielder/rover (165 cm, 68 kg), Michito impressed many at the tournament with his courageous player and ball winning ability. In a game against Great Britain, he virtually set up all his teams goals.
In January 2006, Sakaki played in an intra-club practice game for Essendon, gathering 13 possessions, including 8 kicks, 5 handballs and 2 marks.
In February 2006 it was announced that both Sakaki and Kase would be included on the Victorian Football League club that feeds the Essendon Bombers, the Bendigo Bombers, becoming the first overseas players to do so.
In late February, Sakaki was named in the Essendon side to play in a 16-a-side practice match against the Sydney Swans in an exhibition match at North Sydney Oval on 3 March in front of 9,654 spectators. Although the match is not an official AFL match, Sakaki became the first non-Irish international and player to learn the game overseas to play at for an AFL side. Michito announced his desire to play at the highest level and his intention to move to Australia to further his development.
Shortly after the announcement of the North Sydney practice match, a bidding war between amateur club St Bernards and the Wodonga Raiders ended up with Sakaki being signed by the Raiders and will play in the Ovens & Murray Football League.
Michito captained the Samurai during the 2008 International Cup and was once again named a member of the All-International (world) team.
- Anyone know Japanese for holding the ball? - Sport - theage.com.au
- Rielly, Stephen (29 November 2005). "Say konnichi wa to the Dons' trainees". The Age. Archived from the original on 28 November 2005.
- World Footy News - Japan produces first VFL players as bright future predicted for the JAFL
- McClure, Geoff (22 March 2006). "Sporting Life: Japan's Michito wows the bush". The Age.