Sixth day at Miyazaki training camp-Team Manager Finke   

Comment from Team Manager Finke after finishing the sixth day of the Miyazaki training camp
No one has been injured so far since coming to the camp. Hosogai was touching his legs several times during the match today. However, our team doctor confirmed that his muscle was strained a little and there will be no problems for him to continue his practice from now on.
As we are in a preparation period at the moment and considering the physical strain we put ourselves through, it is natural that we are all worn out. As such, I did not have a great expectation of the team to do exceptionally well for today’s match. What was important for them at this stage was to have a good combination play by maintaining passes as much as possible. I am not asking them for an extremely high quality play.
I would like to put more load on the players during the future practice sessions based on sport physiology so that the players won’t get injured. Of course, it will be tough for them for the rest of the camp sessions. But, I am sure they can see that all the effort they make now will be rewarded.
Players were not allowed to participate in yesterday’s training session held in the afternoon on the cross country course unless they had a good result from their physical checkups. I was able to put a very heavy but appropriate load on them. It was good that they played the match against high school students today. If they had to play against a team at a much higher level at this stage, it would have put an unduly burden on them.
It is true that the practice sessions have been quite tough and this requires a strong will of each player. But, what I need you to understand is that I introduced yesterday’s practice session based on the result of their physical check ups. Understanding the importance of the check ups is essential. Of course, it is necessary to put a heavy burden on the players. But, if you overdo it, they will get injured. In order to avoid such scenarios, it is vital to plan our practice sessions based on sport physiology. I believe this provides a foundation for us to deliver high quality performances.
We will not put much load on players during tomorrow’s training. The morning session will be a fun session using balls and players can take their mind off from fatigue. The match we had today was not to assess each player or the quality of their play. It was a continuation of our regular sessions that used a soccer ball. It was a session to put the right burden on players for 45 minutes.
(It seems as though there were no restrictions set for today’s training match. What was the aim this time?) I told my team players to press the ball when not in possession in the mid field. I did not impose any restrictions this time. Instead, I told them to take time and slow down when taking a corner kick so that they would be able to have a little rest. I tried to avoid putting unnecessary physical strain on the players by making them play the match tactfully.
(Did you make any strategic requests to the opponent team coach?)
Hosho Senior High School wanted to play three 30 minute games. But, we asked them to play two 45 minute games instead. I told them that they could change their team players as they liked during the game. I did not request anything except for that.
(Even though you say no one got injured, some players are practicing with different session programs.)
All current injuries have nothing to do with the camp practice. Especially in the case of Keita, the blister he had before he came to the camp was broken and infected. It is unfortunate that this happened as he showed a great enthusiasm towards the camp practice and was doing fantastic training.
Horinouchi felt some pain in his knee when he collided with an opponent during the training match on 18th. His injury has nothing to do with the actual practice programs. In regards to Sergio, Tulio, Abe and Alex, they still have not recovered from injuries they sustained during last season.
This camp site offers such a wonderful environment. There is a beach near our accommodation and rehabilitation practice is held there from 7:30 every morning. In the afternoon practice session, they ride bicycles. This is also a part of rehabilitation practice. They have this type of practice regularly. Our medical staff members are also helping our players to make a quick recovery everyday. Having our players work on their recovery must be a contributing reason why no players have sustained injuries even when huge burdens are put on them.
(Tulio and Abe seem to be doing well now. When can they make a full recovery and join the team again?)That is not something I can decide all by myself. It all depends on their conditions. Our team doctor and trainers are working for their recovery everyday and they are doing as much as they can. However, everything won’t necessarily go as planned when it comes to them making a full recovery. Once they are 100 percent in terms of being able to make all kinds of different movements, our doctor will make the judgment as to when they can return to the team.
It is a well known fact among us trainers that just because a player can move perfectly without opponents does not mean he is fully recovered. When players take three weeks off, they must work out for more than three weeks. This is the rule based on our experience and a fact of sport physiology.
For example, if a player damages his front ligament, generally it takes six month for him to come back to practice. It will take further six or seven months for him to fully recover. In other words, it takes more than one year to make a full recovery. It sounds like a harsh reality for players. But, these are the medical facts.
That being said, it is a good sign when players wish for their quick recovery as this shows their mental strength. However, the medical facts go against them. There are many cases where players make an early recovery and play in matches. But, in this case, their early recovery can make their condition worse.
(Young players seem to be doing well.)
In Germany, there is a saying; what makes experienced players run more is the hard work of young players. It is good for the future of the team when young players are working hard. Experienced players feel pressured by them. When this happens, they will participate in the practice with a sense of urgency. This will improve the quality of the team as a whole. Experienced players will no longer take it for granted to play in matches.
Urawa Reds has young talented players and this is what I feel. I believe that they will put pressure on the older players and try to get their positions. At the same time, I can see much potential in the older players as well. They have fantastic experience and I think they are still very much capable of developing their true abilities. When this type of atmosphere is created, we can aim to build a higher level team.
(What was your impression of the Japan National Team match held yesterday?)
It was proven how difficult it is to win a match by a large margin even against a lower ranking team. Yemen must have concentrated on defense to gain a good result. In this sense, Yemen’s objective was achieved to some degree. I also think that the Japan National Team fulfilled their obligations and achieved a satisfactory result. It was great that Tatsuya was able to score a goal. The best medicine for strikers is a winning goal.
(Tulio has not had the usual type of practice sessions for about 1.5 months. Judging from what you said earlier, does this mean that he won’t come back to the team for another 1.5 months or so?)
I cannot make any comment as to when he will fully recover. This is because I would like to believe what I see with my own eyes. I don’t know what kind of practice he had in Brazil. Looking at how he is at the moment, I think he moves well when not using balls. I also think his physical strength is slowly recovering. I am very happy about that. However, he won’t be able to play in matches again unless he can practice well using balls and participate in the team’s practice sessions. It all depends on how well he can perform in the team’s practice sessions. As such, I cannot make any comment based on the schedule we work out for him at this point in time.
I saw him play in a match held in the stadium at the end of last season. I thought he was not playing in his full physical condition. He went through an operation after that. When he goes back to play in matches, I want to make sure he is physically 100 percent. I do not want to make him play in official matches if he is not fully recovered from his injury or his physical condition is not completely well. He is also an important player for the National Team. I think it is important for him to get into good shape and prepare himself well so that he can perform to his full potential on the pitch when he plays in official matches.