Ketkä tulevat olemaan Crocodilesin avainpelaajia kaudella 2022? Kysyimme päävalmentaja Bezairelta!

11.04.2022, 15:15

Crocodilesin miesten Vaahteraliiga joukkue on uudistunut monilta osin ja yksi merkittävimmistä muutoksista on päävalmentajan vaihtuminen. Kun kahden viimekauden ajan päävalmentajan tehtävää suorittanut Samu Juppo ilmoitti siirtyvänsä pienempään rooliin, piti löytää uusi henkilö joukkueen peräsimeen. Tätä tehtävää suorittamaan valittiin Andy Bezaire, joka on ollut osana valmennusta jo aikaisemminkin 2010-luvun alussa. Nyt joukkue on leireillyt jo useampaan otteeseen Andyn alaisuudessa ja hänellä alkaa olla hyvä kuva niin yksilöistä kuin joukkueesta kokonaisuudessaan. Pyysimme Andya kertomaan ajatuksiaan rakenteilla olevasta joukkueesta.

What is the thing that you want Crocs to be especially good at?

One thing that I would want us to be really good at is, practise. In football it doesn’t matter what you choose to do, but you’d better you do it good. And practise is the way we get good. We are going to play lots of different kinds of teams. Teams with different styles and strengths, and we are going to need to be able to adjust each week. I want us to be a team that practises very well.

Who do you think is going to be the hardest team to beat?

Well, of course the Steelers are the returning champions, and they will be tough. The Helsinki Roosters are always a good team, and they have had many championships in the recent past. The Butchers are a team with a strong history, and they were the dominating team before the Roosters took their turn. They beat us pretty good last year to end out the season. The Wolverines have a lot of talent and will be hard to stop. Then you have the Crusaders, who were the only team to beat Kuopio last year. You must come ready to play, or they will beat you. And the Eagles are fresh off of their Spaghetti Bowl championship and may be on a roll. They are a bit of an unknown. So who is the hardest team to beat? The team we play the next. Our opponents are too good to look past any of them.

Name three players from both offence and defence who you think are going to be in important role on the road to championship

We have a lot of talent on both sides of the ball this season. We will have one of the deepest rosters that we have ever had here in Seinäjoki. We need to build a personality on offense and defence, so we will need to have leaders who step up. Really I look to our national team players to set the tone. On defense it starts up front and Filip (Zacok) is one of the best at his position in Finland. Juhani Koivumäki is a name that all Crocodiles fans know, he is a great football player. And in the back end we have Heikki (Toivola) who is really exactly the kind of player you want to play in this defence.

On offense, we have a lot of new faces in the line, but one player who really has a chance to build on last season and have a dominating year is Tuomas Hvitfelt, who is assuming a great leadership role. And both Janne and Joel (Särkelä) have been working hard and improving. They will really have great opportunities to make plays for us this season, and we love big plays from our receivers.

Who should the fans especially keep eyes on?

Our receivers. We have very good depth at receiver this season, and we are expecting a lot from those guys. Of course we have the Särkelä brothers (Joel, Janne), but I also can’t wait to see the plays made by Ristilä (Kristian), Kasari (Jaakko) and Lampivuo (Anttoni), just to name a few. And there are more. Can’t wait.

Who do you expect a breakthrough from?

Our entire linebacking core. We have some great returning players, and I also think we will get to see some of them take on an even bigger role. Koivumäki (Juhani), Jallow (Saidou), Korpela (Markus), and I think Leo Lundberg will be the one who steps up. We may also see some returning veterans who would really make our linebacking group shine.

What is the plan for last weeks before season?

We have been working hard the whole off-season on individual skills, but as we get closer to kick-off, the focus shifts to coming together as a team and getting all the players on the same page. The next weeks will be about building that routine that can prepare us every week for our opponent. We will face some really good teams this year, even right in the first weeks of the season, so we will focus on establishing that routine.

Kuva: Timo Aalto