After Today’s Training - Team Manager Finke  

Comment from Team Manager Volker Finke after today’s training

(Why did you arrange the match vs a team in K league at the start of the Ibusuki camp?)
“Of course, it is not easy to make all our wishes come true in this world. In this situation, we took all things such as the environment here in Ibusuki and other teams’ schedules into consideration, and it was decided that the best choice was to arrange a match against a K league team. We have been preparing for quite a while, thus it is common sense that the opponent team’s level is gradually going up. We only have two and half weeks before the opening match. Bearing in mind that the opening match is just around the corner, I want the players to experience games facing certain levels of opponents.”

(In this match, you chose Hirakawa as the left back and Hosogai as the right back for the first time in the season. What is your evaluation?)
“As you know, I have watched many of Reds’ last season’s games on DVDs. In the DVDs, Hirakawa actually played on the left side many times. Urawa Reds had been using 3-5-2 for several years. Therefore the team did not have full back in true meaning. This season, it is confirmed that we want to play with 4 back. That is why I wanted to know their potentials as full backs.”

(What is your confidence level of the team with just 2 and half weeks before the opening match?)
“Let me repeat what I just said. It is not easy to make all our wishes come true in the football world. The important thing is to know the current situation. What kind of players do we have?
My idea is to use our players on both sides. I want to let their potentials bloom through various trainings. Of course, it is possible that we do not have enough players for both sides.
I will not be able to disclose what we will do next now if it really happens. It is not easy to get good players when we need them. Therefore, what we must do first is to find out how well we can use the players in our team. The next step is to look for quality players if we do not have enough players. However, I cannot talk about this in detail now.
When I first received an offer from the club, I was asked clearly to develop the skills of all the players in the team regardless their age.
That is why I want to develop potentials of the players who belong to the team as much as possible and I think that is a very important point.”

(What is your assessment of left footed Hayashi who scored a goal today?)
“I came to know from one of my fiends in Japan that fundamentally, there are lesser left footed players in Japan. It is not like we want to hide the information, but as you mentioned, it is true that we do not have many natural left footed players.
However, it is true that there will be a lot of advantages created by using right footed players. Ideally, I want to use left footed players on the left, but realistically, it is possible to use right footed players on the left.
They are able to dribble, create chances and score goals. By looking at various international games, there are many examples of right footed players performing well on the left side. In that sense, it is not necessary that left footed players play at the position.
Hirakawa delivers beautiful crosses with his left foot. Even though he is a right footed player, he can deliver accurate crosses with his left foot. He proved that his left foot is not just for him to balance himself while standing but can also be used for the game.”

(What is your evaluation for the training match itself?)
“It is impossible for me to be satisfied. However, we are doing well in terms of team’s development. I think the players have been developing through various approaches that I took with them and much training that I gave them since I joined the team.
We did sprint tests for 10 and 20 meters yesterday. As you have seen the test, I would be able to talk about it openly.
I would know the players’ conditions through the sprint test. This result tells that the players are improving. Even though they were exhausted from training, they are recovering and their conditions are getting better for the opening match.
Regarding the training match, I think the compact positioning when the opponent team holds the ball is good to some extent. However, there are many areas that should be improved. Hence I am not satisfied with this training match.
Abe who had left the team to join the national team training came back to the team. It was good that 3 field players, Abe, Tulio and Tatsuya rejoined the team training. They also need time to get used to the team and for me I also need to have time to get to know them. In fact, I believe that the 3 will have no problems working together with the players who have been training in the team and it was a good timing for them to join the team in order for our team to gel.
I had been told that games involving Japanese team and Korean team will be very physical. Today, I felt that after watching the game. They are rivals so of course games between them will be very fiercely fought.
That is why I asked myself whether to choose Tatsuya Tanaka in such a game. In the end, I decided to give him a different type of training and not to use him in the game. We still have time before the opening game. If we care about him, it is obvious that this is not a good time for him to play in the game.
He must have been tired while training with the national team. By giving him a chance to recover again today, he will be able to put up good performances from tomorrow.”

(You mentioned the team will decide team captain through voting in the camp.)
“That is one of the processes that the team is undertaking at the moment.”