After a week of rumors across the internet and newspapers it was officially announced by the club that Marijan Pusnik will leave the club at the end of this season and return to Slovenia.
I have been very impressed with Pusnik from very early on during his tenure at the club when he showed a willingness to work hard and try to change things which needed to be changed, and more importantly conducted himself very well and built bridges between the club and the supporters which had been severely damaged by the lack of interaction or communication during the tenure of Maeda.
Despite the obvious language difficulties he has communicated his ideas to the supporters of the club, and become very popular during his two years at the club. I’ve not seen a manager have banners, songs and scarves made for him during his time at the club, and it pays the biggest compliment to his work that the supporters have taken him on board so quickly.
I’ll comment on how I feel his reign has gone in a later post but will now translate of his comments from the press conference given by the club (apologies to Pusnik and the club for errors I make, I don’t have the original statement in English and am translating back from Japanese!)
The press conference started with club director Nomiyama saying thank-you for the work put in during the last 2 seasons…
“We really appreciate the work Pusnik has done for Avispa Fukuoka over the last 2 seasons.
During this time the players have learned to start playing a more pressing form of football. The players have grown a lot in this over the last two seasons.
Marijan really loves the city of Fukuoka and the fans of the club. The supporters here really love their club. With their support the club has grown carrying the name of the city to be the club that it is today.
From now Avispa will try to use the foundation which has been laid by Pusnik, a foundation loved by everyone in the region, and grow into a strong club and build on the work done by Pusnik.
Marijan has reallt developed a sense of professionalism at the club during his 2 years at the club.
Thank-you very much.
Pusnik then talked about his time at the club…
I am very grateful for the chance to work here over the last 2 seasons.
Of course I came here for the football, but at the same time I have been able to experience the culture of this country and meet many wonderful people.
Thanks to that I’ve been able to continue working hard. I’ve also met the great supporters of the club. There are so many people who love Avispa that it has been a fun job for me to do.
Life is inherently up and down, and so is the job of a football manager. The last 2 months here have been some place other than ‘up’, maybe in a place called ‘a little down’.
From this period I felt it necessary to have a discussion with the leaders of the club and decided to resign from here. Firstly, there are personal reasons with a family situation which have meant it is a time which I should return to my home country. I was also worried about recent results here.
I came here with a plan to lead Avispa into J1. This season it has become impossible to make it to J1. Together with the club we have mutually agreed that due to personal issues in my home country, and recent results that I should resign at the end of this season.
I don’t want this to sound like an excuse for the results, because it isn’t meant as an excuse, but since coming to Avispa I have tried to introduce a modern style of football with an aggressive pressing style very quickly at the club. Some players have found this difficult, and some have improved their game very well.
I really hope that the players and staff can use the things they have learned through my coaching in the future.
The club and I have split at this time amicably, with great respect for each other.
I want Avispa to promote to J1 as soon as possible. I’ll do anything I can to help this happen. I consider the time I have spent at Avispa Fukuoka as the most important in my career.
If there is anything I can do in the future, regarding training or my opinions for example, then I’ll always be happy to do that.
It is not the results at the club here which have caused me to leave, but important family matters.
Life here in Fukuoka is just, just wonderful. The results on the pitch were frustrating at times, but I will continue to cheer alongside the supporters of the club. The supporters are the most important thing for any club.
I will not change anything going into these last 3 games, nothing has changed. I will try to get the players to fight for the win, fight for the people who are rooting for us.
Nomiyama then concluded the press conference by saying how much Pusnik is loved by the supporters at the club, and how his resignation was announced before the end of the season to give the supporters a chance to say thank-you and good-bye to him at the last home game against Kumamoto in Level-5 stadium.