Saturday, 20 June 2009

Meeting News pt 4

Here is the next of GGOA's reports on the meeting on Wednesday evening between Ardija club staff and supporters. This post provides a translation of the first part of the Q & A session which followed the initial presentation by Seigo Watanabe. The second half of the Q & A session is to follow. All questions are asked by fans; answers are by Watanabe, unless stated as being by general manager Haruo Yuuki.

Q. President Watanabe, you talked about the Ardija Vision and you said if you didn't achieve the target of 300,000 fans attending matches this season, you'd take responsibility. I don't understand what you mean by that - what's the connection between the target and your taking responsibility?

A. It's important to say that that's our aim, in order to show to our fans and to Omiya people how serious we are about the club. I know it will be difficult to achieve the target, but as president I take responsibility for that.

Q. So you'll quit if you don't achieve the target?

A. There are lots of ways of taking responsibility, so I'm not saying I'll necessarily quit if we fail to achieve that target. What we'll do is look at the results and then think about what action to take.

Q. But it's 100% impossible to get that many people if we have home games at NACK 5, and I think that's why we have games at Saitama Stadium. But lots of fans don't want to play at Saitama - it might be a club target to aim for 300,000 people, but we don't necessarily care about that.

A. We definitely want to achieve the target, but playing at Saitama Stadium isn't only for that purpose. For example, last year we had a Saitama Derby at NACK 5 and the tickets sold out immediately. That meant that some people who might want to come to the game and become Omiya supporters were disappointed.

Q. I've been supporting Omiya since we were a J2 club and I'm sure that the number of fans is increasing. But since we got promoted, every season we have struggled to stay in J1. I think that now is the time that we need to think about tactics and how we play. Following on from what you said earlier, I'm wondering if it's okay not to change tactics - will we still be safe from relegation?

A. [Yuuki] Right now we're playing in a way that involves quick change between defence and attack, with lots of width. We have this idea of getting in an attempt on goal within seven seconds of gaining possession - and that means always thinking about going forward. In the recent Nabisco Cup games, we've had all these injuries and the combination of the young and new players hasn't worked.

Now, though, the injuries are improving and the combinations are getting stronger. We've also been doing extra training on defensive aspects. As far as attack is concerned, previously the players were just thinking about the seven seconds idea, but now we're thinking that if it's impossible to go forward we might have to go sideways or into midfield. Jang Wae Ryong and the players are talking about this.

Q. The banners against Marinos, you're talking about banning Omiya supporters - but what about the banners that Urawa supporters had at the Saitama Derby? And they've always had that sort of thing, right back to the JFL days. What are you doing about their banners that are aggressive to us?

A. About the Reds banners, before the league game we spoke to Urawa management about them. There weren't any at the Nabisco Cup game.

Q. That wasn't because Omiya made that point, though - I heard from Reds fans that they just decided not to do it. What are the security arrangements like?

A. We always talk about this type of security with Urawa, so if there are that type of banner, we will try to find out whose they are. Our aim is to run the game smoothly.

Q. Daigo Kobayashi had an offer after the Fan Festa on 25th January - and then by 28th, it was already decided that he was leaving. So it took only three days for that to happen? I find that difficult to believe. Also I can't believe what's happening to Klemen Lavric this year: he's played seventeen minutes in three games. I'm not saying I think Jang should definitely use him, but why did you bother offering the guy a new contract if you're not going to play him?

A. Daigo always had the idea of moving to a foreign club if he had an offer, so because he always wanted to play abroad it was easy for him to decide. I and Jang tried to persuade him to stay but he wanted to go.

A. [Yuuki] He felt that it might be difficult to get a move because the European season generally is on a different calendar from ours, but the Norwegian season is on the same calendar as us, so that made it an easier move to make. About Lavric, I can't talk about his contract, but Jang and I spoke about him and we decided to offer him a new deal.

Q. We have foreign players who speak three different languages and communication for them must be difficult.

A. [Yuuki] Lavric and Mato Neretljak speak English, Denis Marques can speak to [physical coach] Fuka and Park Won Jae can obviously speak to Jang, but there are interpreters for all of them. It might be a bit tricky for everything to happen at the same time, but I don't think there's a problem communicating with the each other.

Q. The reality is that we're fifteenth after thirteen games. We were about ninth this time last year - and your response to these poor results is just "ganbarimasu". I think the players don't have any fighting spirit. We have better players and are achieving worse results.

A. [Yuuki] I'm very sorry about our results. The coach, his staff and players are all looking at why they've been conceding so many goals. I spoke about team spirit with Chikara Fujimoto and he told me that everyone was fighting hard.

Q. I'm concerned that Omiya always concede goals from good players like FC Tokyo's Naohiro Ishikawa and Kashiwa Reysol's Franca. Do you research opponents? This sort of thing always happens.

A. [Yuuki] We watch videos and analyse our opponents. We look at likely danger areas and who's likely to score. We're making a big effort to cut down on the number of goals we concede.

Q. When I compare the players who come out of our youth team with those from Reds, they don't seem that good.

A. Players often find it tough to make the step up - Ryohei Arai this year and Daisuke Watabe last year. But they're gradually getting into the team and we're improving at all levels of our youth structure.

Many thanks to Mrs F for her assistance with this post.



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