A little later than we hoped but, here is Club President Akira Kaetsu’s opening address speech aswell as the player comments made by our new signings!
Representative Director, Akira Kaetsu:
“Thank you all so much for your warm encouragement and continued support of Yokohama F.Marinos. According to the weather forecast, today is the coldest day so far of this winter season though I feel that the heated enthusiasm of everybody here today is more than enough to dispel any cold weather we may experience! I can assure you that we will latch onto everybody’s burning enthusiasm and really give it everything we’ve got this season to achieve victory.
Last season we finished up with a total of 15 wins, 6 draws, and 13 losses. These numbers are more revealing than they first appear as they encompass a great many accomplishments and challenges. For example, 15 wins is not a bad number by any means. Among those 15 wins we had some truly impressive victories. Victories like the 2 consecutive wins over Kawasaki, victories where we lost the first game but exacted revenge in spectacular fashion when facing our opponents a second time round like we did against Hiroshima, Niigata, and Shimizu.
That said, while we were achieving some great results, we weren’t short of challenges either. 6 draws and 13 losses.
Among that combined total of 19 games that we failed to win, there were at least 8 games that we completely dominated yet still dropped points either by drawing or losing the game entirely. This had become a distinct problem with the way we were playing and an all too common trend which is why the Coach and his coaching staff have made many of the necessary amendments that were needed. It is with these amendments and a fresh injection of talent that we now have the potential to finish in the top 3 this season.
Last season we resolved to increase average crowd attendance by 20%. We came to close to achieving this goal with a final average attendance increase of 16.4%. Whereas several clubs remained pretty much the same, and others even suffered a slight decrease in attendance, we as a club managed to improve our figures thanks to various successful initiatives. This season, after having enjoyed such success on this front, and using my newly earned confidence as a base, I wish to continue working hard in the same vain by making the words I used when I was first appointed to my post, “Regeneration. Progress”, a reality.
Starting from now, the club will be embarking on a 3 year plan that we have aptly named “Map13” (Marinos Amazing growth & Play by 2013). It is a new initiative that will use our successes of 2010 as a springboard and allow us to achieve a tremendous amount of growth by 2013. The first of these goals is to achieve an average crowd attendance of 40,000+ per game. This is an incredibly lofty target to aim for, and certainly not one that will be achieved easily but, I have a strong conviction that we can achieve this goal. The second target is to achieve back to back championships. Whilst continuously strengthening the squad, we hope to create an invincible team that is capable of winning the J-League season after season. The third goal is to become a benchmark of high quality in terms of club management.
Until now, we have been overly mindful of the current economic recession and as such, we have had a tendency to cut back on costs and player acquisitions. As a result, we had fallen into a self-defeating cycle of seeing the level of our play gradually decrease, resulting in a disappointing league record, which in turn lead to a downturn in attendance.
This season we will first focus on increasing profits. Any capital we earn will be injected straight back into the team to put in place the foundation of a “Plus Cycle”. This is the biggest point of focus for the F.Marinos as we strive towards a perfect regeneration of the club. We also wish to firmly win back a place in the hearts of all the fans and supporters that have such strong roots here in Yokohama and become a club that you can all be proud of.
This year is the first year of our 3 year plan and as such, it will be one that is vitally, vitally important. I not only stake the future of the club, but also my life, on the forthcoming challenges that lay ahead. We absolutely cannot allow ourselves to fail in this first year of our 3 year plan. It is with this stern conviction that I make my last stand and vow to keep my promise to each and every one of you as we ring in the new year together.”
Head Coach: Kazushi Kimura:
“This year we will win the title. We have new players as well as older players coming back into the fold to ensure that there is a healthy competition in each position for spots in the first team which will no doubt raise the overall strength of the squad. Last season it was very much “This guy in this postition” but this season I will have a harder time deciding who to use for each position. This season, I want us to fight with the firm belief that we will win. I will be meeting with the entire squad tomorrow and I intend to firmly engrave the desire for victory in their minds, and make them into players that will give their all in every game. We will fight with everything we have and we will aim for every single title out there. This year is also “do or die” for me too as the coach so I intend to apply just as much pressure on myself too.”
#10 – Yuji Ono:
“I will do everything I can to enable the team to achieve the title this year so I look forward to your support throughout the season. I want to work hard so that I can end this season in such a way that every fan and supporter of the club considers Yokohama’s #10 to be Yuji Ono. Last season I joined the top team halfway through the year and was able to immediately earn some invaluable experience up front. This year, I will be starting from the very first game so I will be looking to make the experience I earned last season count.”
#19 – Kentaro Moriya:
“I’m Moriya from Tsukuba University. I’m overjoyed to not only be able to play soccer, but also to be able to play for my favorite team, the F.Marinos. As it’s my first year it’s only natural that people will have expectations of me so I just want to focus on getting used to playing with this team at this level and work hard on getting the opportunity to play a game as soon as I can. I want to work as hard as I can to help the team win the title.”
#13 – Yuzo Kobayashi:
“I’m extremely happy to have been approached by the Yokohama F.Marinos. I want to play as hard as I can so that I don’t make anybody regret the club signing me.”
#23 – Sho Matsumoto:
“I want to become the type of player that can excite the crowds as well as fulfill the dreams and hopes of the children watching the games too. I’m right at the very bottom of the pile so it’s my responsibility to raise the standard in order for us to achieve the title. I want to train so hard that I surprise even myself, and earn a place in the starting 11 of the opening game.”
#26 – Naoaki Aoyama
“I want to play the best I can each and every day so that I can improve my game. When I first put this uniform on I must admit that it felt somewhat uncomfortable so I will train hard and play the best I can so that I start to look better in blue! There is a National Team center back here at F.Marinos so there’s no doubt plenty of opportunities for me to learn and improve my game here. I look forward to challenging myself this year.”
#11 – Masashi Oguro
“First of all I want to score as many goals as I can and help the team achieve the title. I want to give all the fans and supporters something to be happy about. As for the obvious expectations, It’s the same wherever you go (laughs) but the the job is ultimately the same so I shall give it everything I have. I’m sure I’ll get many great balls so I want to make each one count. I want to train as hard as I can. Scoring goals is my job so I want to do a good job and make the supporters and my teammates happy.”
#16 – Eijiro Takeda:
“I’m happy to be able to come back to the team that took care of me during my middle-school and high-school years. I hope to play some games and contribute to the teams success.”
#29 – Hiroyuki Taniguchi:
“Even if it’s just by a little, I want to help the team win the title. It’s a new challenge for me so I want to ensure that I leave a positive scoreline with each performance. Last year, F.Marinos was the one team that I didn’t want to lose against. This year however, I will be facing Kawasaki but that is one game that I definitely want to win!”
#5 – Kunhoan Kim:
“I’m back after a one year spell at Yamagata. I’m so happy to be back as it feels like home to me here. I want to play the best I can and help the team achieve the title.”