Ibusuki Training Camp roundup – Team Manager Mischa  

Team Manager Mischa gave a comment on 17th February reflecting on the Ibusuki Training Camp.

We played our fifth training match today on the final day of the training camp. As our players were suffering from fatigue and our opponent team played it tough, the team had a very difficult match today. During the first and second quarters, we played very fiercely against our opponent. It was lucky that no players sustained serious injuries. As for the third and fourth quarters, the players vigorously moved the ball. I thought our players played well with some good ideas.

(How do you sum up the overall training camp?)
Due to AFC Champions League, we will start the season earlier than usual this year. To be honest with you, had we had another week, we could have spared a little more time to work on team building. In this sense, we hurried though our training program during the camp. We could also have spent more time on what we wanted to address. However, all in all, we had a good camp and we were able to achieve our objectives mostly when it comes to team building.

(Could you please comment on your new players?)
I think they adapted themselves to our team tactics from an early stage. In this regard, I trust they had good training camps both in Miyazaki and Kagoshima. After the opening of the season, we must play four official matches over the short period of 11 days. In order for us to survive through such a tough period, we must have a good turn over system going for us. For this reason, we had many practice matches and tried several different team player combinations. We hope to get through the hard period together as a whole team. Needless to say, the ideal scenario is to play one match a week. But, we have no choice but to fight through the schedule prepared for us.

(What do you find difficult when fighting through a series of matches with different team members playing in different combinations?)
I tried several different combinations by mixing different players to play together from the second half of the Miyazaki Training Camp. When playing our style of soccer, three front-line players hold such an importance. At an earlier stage during our training, I had our new players play together with our team’s experienced players so that they can learn our tactics more easily. After repeating this a few times, our players became comfortable with each other to understand each other little by little. Going through this process, I feel our players have become capable of sharing several ideas together regardless of who they team up with. Currently, Muto is injured. Lee also sustained a minor injury today and was replaced by another player. Koroki has now returned back to the team after his injury and working to improve his condition but he is not at his best yet. Nonetheless, it is possible for us to place good players in good combinations on the front line. I believe we are in a good position to have a powerful line up of attackers even when we have some players injured or suspended from playing matches over the course of a long season. Though we could have refined our combinations better had we had another week on our side, I am confident that our players have already reached a good level even at this point in time.

(What do you feel now when there is only a week before the opening of the ACL Champions League?)
Urawa Reds played in the ACL Champions League two years ago. However, the team unfortunately had to leave the group league at that time. I am certain that the bitter experience stayed in our players. For this reason, we would like to challenge ourselves by harnessing that bitter experience. We, Urawa Reds will play the first match with a strong determination to fight in Asia in order to win the title. There are several formidable teams in our group and we expect a very challenging time ahead of us. But, I am certain that we will be able to attain our first objective of winning through the group league as long as we have a strong determination to win.
[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD:OM)]

Ibusuki Training Camp roundup – Team Manager Mischa