Tuesday, 9 September 2014

With Thanks - Come Back Anytime, Afshin!


With apologies for the four month hiatus - it wasn't intentional, but you know how things go. One post gets missed, then another, then the World Cup comes along, a change of job, a three week trip to Europe, a week trying to get over jet lag... I could go on making excuses but the important thing is we're back. This was the first time we've neglected our service in six years, so I hope you'll forgive us. Six years?! Has it really been that long? Apparently so.

In the world of S-Pulse it's been an eventful four months. Too much has happened to recount it all, but to hit the most major point, our boss, my friend and gentleman, Afshin Ghotbi parted company with Shimizu.

I know how hard he worked over to revolutionise and globalise our club. He poured in effort, attracted some fantastic players (Freddie Ljungberg joining Shinji Ono in midfield for goodness sake!), and lived and breathed S-Pulse for three and a half years. Sometimes in the the face of opposition, everything he did he did for the good of Shimizu.

His exit leaves a certain emptiness around the club, and while we never reached the heights we, and he, longed for, I take too many unforgettable moments from his reign to count. A look at last season's most memorable games scratches the surface, but then there's the Miracle at Mizuho, and the Nine Man Madness at Ajinomoto to name but two. The Lionheart spirit Ghotbi instilled in his team came to the fore especially on those backs-against-the-wall occasions.

If there's one thing which exemplifies his motivational skills on the big occasion, it's this video made for that incredible day at Yamaha Stadium.

It worked, of course. We beat a fiercely motivated home team fighting for their J1 survival. No mean feat.

So, gone from Shizuoka, but very much not forgotten. Afshin, you transformed our club. Thanks for the memories and the opportunities. All the very the best for the future. We'll be following and supporting you!!

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