The day before the J. League Seventh Sec.-Team Manager Finke   

Comment from Team Manager Volker Finke on the day before the 2009 season J. League Seventh Sec. against Jef United Chiba
I cannot say that we have had good training for the up coming weekend match. One of the reasons for this was that Genki Haraguchi was not able to participate in some of our team training sessions as he was away for the national team U-20 training camp. Naoki Yamada had an injury. It was very unfortunate that Shunsuke Tsutsumi had also injured himself. He got injured soon after he joined team training. For these various reasons, I cannot say that we have had good training for this weekend’s match.
As for Tatsuya Tanaka and Tadaaki Hirakawa, they were not able to participate in team training not only last week but also this week. For this reason, I am not content with the team situation. Certainly I would like to have a good result for tomorrow’s match. But, it is difficult for me to say that we had prepared ourselves well for this weekend.

(What do you think about Tsutsumi’s injury?)
It was very unfortunate. It is very sad news to me as well. There is about a three to five percent chance of a recurrence after a player recovers from his ligament injury. There will also be a chance that the implanted ligament is not accepted by the body and causes another injury. Unfortunately, Tsutsumi has to undergo another operation. I think it will take a long time for him to come back to the team.
We changed our system from this year. The reality is that the position that was originally meant for Tsutsumi now has few players to take over. It is very unfortunate that he was injured in this regard as well.
One positive thing I can say is his attitude. If he can work positively for his rehabilitation like he did last time, I am sure he will be able to return to our team again and show his excellent play.

(Has Naoki Yamada recovered well enough to play in the match tomorrow?)
Naoki participated in all the training sessions held today. What is important for me is to see how his muscles will react after training in the recovery process. For this reason, I cannot say anything concrete about the chance of him playing in the match. Even though he also participated in the closed training session held yesterday, I still need to discuss with other staff members whether he will be able to play in the match tomorrow.

(We heard that the new president, Mr. Mitsuo Hashimoto greeted the team before the pre training meeting. What was your impression about him?)
I think he will have a positive impact on us and the development of the team. I would also like to do my best to contribute to the development of the team while working together with him. I do not think the direction in which we are moving forward during this season would change as a result.

(What is your impression about JEF United Chiba?)
I am aware of the fact that they escaped from relegation at the end of the season last year. I also know that they won for the first time this season in the last away match they played against FC Tokyo. For us, the timing is not the best to play against them as it will be right after they won for the first time this season (lol). Even if they had not won any matches yet, they would certainly be stronger compared to three to four weeks earlier. Nonetheless, the way we play in the match will not change at all. We will always respect our opponents and prepare ourselves for the match as usual.
(The team has not conceded any goals in several matches in a row.)
All team players have played a very aggressive defense. I think that this across-the-board team defense has led to no goals scored in several matches in a row. Certainly, we do not set out the strategy on the day of the match to “win the match with one nil” before we play. We had the results of one nil as we were not able to score a second or third goal. Nonetheless, I would like to continue to put this aggressive defense style into our practice on the pitch in the future as well.
Good outcomes were the results of the fact that players had made a conscious effort to play good defense as a team. I also think that the defense players’ good performances contributed to such good results.(The team has to play several matches in a row from now on.)
I had a discussion with the players about playing several matches in a row over the next two weeks. Since there is only one match this week, I told them to “enjoy” the match especially because there will be no days off from next week. There will also be several group training sessions among different groups of members as those players who will play in matches cannot have too much burden on them during training sessions. I guess I will have to think about how much burden I should give to each player after every match.
It is important for players to be able to recover as soon as possible. In this sense, I told them to show their professionalism and be proactive in recovering their physical conditions.

(It seems as though Tulio had the honor of raw eggs being thrown at him as part of a celebration after training on the pitch.)
This was the first time for me to see a birthday celebrated like that. Having said that, I have seen similar birthday rituals on the pitch celebrated among African players since I worked with many African football players in the past. They used some other food rather than eggs at that time. Nonetheless, birthday celebrations like this are wonderful. I observed the celebration with interest today. I do not see any problems in doing something like this as long as some live animals are not killed on the pitch (lol).