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

Comment from Team Manager Volker Finke on the day before the 2009 season J. League Thirty Second Sec. against Jubilo Iwata

Unfortunately, over the last few days some members of the team have become unable to join the team. Therefore, I have had to rethink the starting line up members and team members.
Earlier in the week, Umesaki got injured very badly. Our situation was quite difficult as Hosogai had to stay at home over the past one week due to the flu.
Then, more bad news came first thing in the morning today that Shunki Takahashi, who has had a fever since this morning, was confirmed at a hospital to have the flu. This is quite unfortunate since Shunki had been doing well during matches and training, and gave us so much to look forward to.
Even though our situation is very severe, we would like to do as much as we can in our home match tomorrow so that we can win the game. To be quite frank with you, we have few options now. Haraguchi is suspended and Umesaki is not with the team since he ruptured a ligament. Unfortunately, Sergio has only joined two team training sessions so far. As this is the case, I do not think that it is a feasible idea to use him as one of the starting line up members. Having said all this, there have been some positive developments as well. For example, Hirakawa’s performance has been improving gradually during training. For this reason, Hirakawa will probably be a starting line up member in tomorrow’s match. Hirakawa will be used as a starting line up member not because Shunki Takahashi is away, but because his performance has improved over the past few weeks.
Another positive thing is that two members who were away to join the national team have now returned safely without any injuries so that they can play in tomorrow’s match. Considering the current performance of the team, I have the feeling that our players can play a very compact game with strong determination to win in our home stadium tomorrow.
Today, I have brought a document with me. Recently, it was reported by some media that our team members had been suffering from injuries and the flu. I received the document from a medical staff member who has been working for the club since 1995. This document lists the number of injuries that players have had and the numbers of players who went through a rehabilitation program. According to the document, there have been a total of 56 injuries in our team this year. What this means is that it is difficult for us to play in official matches. We still have three matches to go during this season. In 2008, there were 61 cases of injuries and the year before, there were 60 cases reported. Of course, I hope that there won’t be any cases of injuries from now on. However, considering the figures in the years 2007 and 2008, we may well have another four or five cases of injuries. It is possible that some of our team members may get injured during the next few matches and the numbers of the injuries will most likely be similar to those of the last few years. The reason why I decided to share this with you was that some people were saying our team has many injured players and they were wondering whether our team has been trained wrongly.
However, by looking at this solid data, I can say the number of injuries among players this year is not many more than those of last few years. We assess our players’ condition when we do training. I am confident that I plan and conduct good training programs by working out how much burden I can put on each player by taking their physical condition into consideration. In some cases, it may be necessary for us to replace some of the players so that we can improve our situation in this regard. There are many documents, wp-content/uploads, data etc. at hand when we need to find out what is necessary. We make decisions by analyzing many different pieces of information in every field so that we can work out the best option for the team.
I wanted to reiterate my point since I was told that some media reported that Urawa Reds have had so many injured players this year.
We do not have many players injured compared to the last few years. Of course, I cannot deny that we may have several more players injured during the last three matches. But, I believe the number of injury cases will be about the same as in the years 2007 and 2008.