A 10-day visit to the home of AFC Champions League opponents FC Tokyo has given Brisbane Roar Head Coach Rado Vidosic plenty of food for thought as he prepares for the beginning of his club’s pre-season regime next week.
A 10-day visit to the home of AFC Champions League opponents FC Tokyo has given Brisbane Roar Head Coach Rado Vidosic plenty of food for thought as he prepares for the beginning of his club-s pre-season regime next week.
Over the home and away legs of their ACL campaign, Tokyo comfortably beat the Hyundai A-League Champions 2-0 and 4-2 with Brisbane failing to register a win in their first ever foray into the continental competition earlier this year.
Vidosic, also a guest at Head Coach Ranko Popovic-s home throughout his stay in Japan, was immersed in the thick of the action and couldn-t be more appreciative of the time he spent in the Japanese city.
The Roar boss was a regular at FC Tokyo-s training sessions, watched two of the club-s regular season fixtures and acknowledged a couple of late nights spent with his J-League counterpart doing match preparation and analysis.
“I stayed with Ranko while I was there so I had lots of opportunities to talk to him about football,” Vidosic said.
“It was good to see that Ranko-s thinking and my thinking was very similar.
“He allowed me to go onto the pitch and see close up how they work and gave me the opportunity to speak to the players.”
Tokyo, who currently sit 8th out of 18 teams, are in the midst of their J-League campaign and Vidosic was especially interested in the balance of their training program and the operational side of managing their playing roster.
“From a coaching point of view, it was a good experience for me to see how a Japanese club operates, what the difference is between us and them and how they run their programs,” he said.
“It-s also interesting to see how they prepare for game day.
“They had a weekend game, a midweek game and another weekend game - the second game was a rescheduled one because of the Champions League.
“They-re in the middle of their transfer window and they-ve got quite a few injured players so there was a lot of talk about how to deal with the injury crisis.
“They were signing new players and to be able to see how they operate from that point of view was also really good.”
But Vidosic also used the time in Tokyo as a means of developing a new plan of attack for the Roar-s second ACL campaign, which will kick off in February next year.
Brisbane lost three and drew three of their group stage games in 2011 but the Croatian-born coach was confident more regular exposure to Asian football was the key to unlocking success in the Champions League.
“Although it-s good to visit clubs in Europe, I think it-s very important that we visit clubs in the J-League, K-League and the Chinese Super League because they-re our opponents,” Vidosic said.
“It-s important we get to know them a little bit better, not just from TV, but by spending a bit of time in their country in their clubs.”
It-s unclear whether a formal relationship will develop between the Roar and the J-League club but what is clear is the strength of the friendship between Vidosic and Popovic as the former embarks on his first full season as Head Coach.
“It could just be a coaching information exchange or player exchange or it could just be more help from them, given they are older than us and have a bit more experience,” he said.
“There is so much from a club-s point of view that we can learn from Japanese clubs - it was really eye-opening.”
Before returning to Brisbane for pre-season, Vidosic jetted off to Belgium on Friday, where he joined up with Roar General Manager Sean Dobson and assistant coaches Ken Stead and Jeff Hopkins.
The Australian club contingent are currently visiting sister club Cercle Sportif Visé with representatives from other Bakrie Group clubs Pelita Jaya (Indonesia) and Indonesia Futbol S.A.D. (Uruguay).
The Brisbane Roar squad will return to training next Monday, 9 July.