Adrian Somorowski: How did it happen that you have become the Widzew player?
Yudai Ogawa: I am very happy that I am here. Everything happened because of my manager who told me about an offer from a very good club with long history and tradition. He was talking about Widzew. The manager has also mentioned that recently the club wants to come back to the top level in Poland and again compete there for the highest goals, like it was in the past. I have decided to take up that challenge – that is why signed the contract.
You have come to Łódź from Japan. Was it an easy decision for you?
- It is never a straight-forward decision to leave everything and move to another country – especially, if it is 10 000 km away from home. However, I think that those who do not take risk do not succeed. Although, this decision was not easy for me, it was quick.
Have you ever heard about football in our country? There are several Japanese players in our leagues.
- Yes, I heard a bit about Poland. This also helped me to make a decision to come here. Daisuke Matsui (former Lechia Gdańsk player) is a very popular sportsman in Japan. He was praising Poland in his comments about his stay here. I know that football in Poland is more physical which means that more strength during matches is required. I have seen your national team as well. I think this is a very good team.
Have you had an opportunity to talk with one of the Japanese players who had a chance to play in Poland?
- No, unfortunately I did not speak to anybody from Polish leagues. What I only know is that there were already two Japanese players who played for Widzew – Tsubasa Nishi and Kosuke Kimura.
Was there any other club apart from Widzew who has proposed you an offer recently?
- There were no other offers. We were talking together with my manager only about the opportunity to play for Widzew.
Previously you were representing FC Gifu - the club which signed Sisi. Have you had a chance to talk with former Lech Poznań player about Poland?
- Sisi joined FC Gifu when I was leaving the club. Therefore, unfortunately I did not have any opportunity to talk with him.
More and more skillful players choose Asian leagues as places to continue their careers. What can you say about Japanese football?
- I think the level of our football is good. It is difficult to judge the continental level basing on Japan only. Asia, like Europe, consists of many different countries. Football in Japan is different than the one in China or South Korea. I guess the situation looks similar if we try to compare Polish, German and Spanish football styles.
In Japan, you were playing in the second division. Is this league similar to any European one?
- This is also not easy to compare J2 League with any other. Japanese football is completely different than the one played in Europe. It is faster and more technical than Polish, but in general it is weaker, in my opinion.
European and Asian cultures differ from themselves significantly. For sure, you already had a chance to observe those discrepancies while being in Poland.
- It is true - they are completely different to each other. However, Polish people seem to be very nice and easy-going, so I do not have a problem with a cultural change I am facing.
What are your observations, when it comes to the trainings with the team?
- They are very contact. It is the first time when I am training in such conditions. The temperature now is very low, but I am doing my best at training sessions. Widzew has a very good coach who conducts interesting activities.
Widzew is a four-time Polish champion and former participant of the UEFA Champions League. The fans have very high expectations. Are you worried about the possible pressure.
- No. I am a new person here, and I have managed to get to know about the club’s history, but I do not feel any kind of pressure. I feel sufficiently confident.
What is the best place on the pitch for you?
- I feel the best when I play as a number “10” or on the wings. I am a quick player with good technical skills. I hope, that I will score many goals and have a high amount of assists which will help the club to get as many points as possible.
Have you seen the new stadium? Many people compare it with the Old Trafford. Do you also see the similarity between those two buildings?
- Of course! It impressed me very much. I think it looks even better than the home stadium of Manchester United. I cannot wait until my first game there.
Widzew is twelve points behind ŁKS in the league table. Do you believe that you can catch the local opponent despite the distance between those two clubs?
- Yes, I believe we will win most of the matches. In my opinion, we can catch ŁKS. I will do everything so Widzew can be promoted to the third division.
Have you ever had a chance to play in a derby match? The battle between Widzew and ŁKS is not only important for the fans in Łódź, but also it can be decisive for the league table.
- I must admit I have never had such an opportunity. Therefore, I am very excited to play in this game. I am aware of the fact that this is a very important match for everyone here and I am sure we will it!