27. 07. 2019

INTERVIEW: Thomas Edgar for WoV – “The Japanese league and volleyball are improving every year”

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Read an exclusive interview with the Australian giant Thomas Edgar.


Thomas has revealed one interesting thing for WorldofVolley regarding the national team, but let's firstly start with the season in Japan.

How would you rate the last season with JT Thunders?

I think my last season with Thunders Hiroshima was a great season of possibilities. We again spent the whole season developing as a team to play our best volleyball in the important moments of the season. The Emperors Cup, Final 6 and the Semi-Finals. Even though we didn’t arrive as a champion for the regular season our team took another step forward winning the Emperors Cup and then playing in the final. Hopefully again this season we can take another step and become champion.“

What was the missing piece that you needed in the finals to win the championship title?

I honestly think the only difference between us and Panasonic in the finals was consistency and experience in the important games. I believe our team has a higher ceiling for performance and that showed in the first final when we had multiple chances to take that game. Full credit to Panasonic though as they were the most consistent team for all the season and have set us a new target for the next season. We are one of the young est teams in V-league and our players will benefit from playing in multiple finals this season and be better experienced for finals in the future.“

Do you think that Japanese V-League is improving each year?

100%. I think the Japanese V-League and Japanese Volleyball, in general, are both improving every year. Even though there is a limited number of foreigners per team, all foreign players are top-level players from top-level volleyball nations. Whilst not having a team of foreign players allows the Japanese players more playing experience than other countries locals. Also in recent years, more Japanese national team players have been playing abroad in Europe and then returning to Japan with these new experiences and a higher level of play.“

Since you spent two seasons in Japan, have you got used to life in this country?

I love Japan, I always have since the first time I played there in 2012 for the Olympic qualifiers. The culture of Japan is very rich but different from other countries I have played in. Thunders Hiroshima have made it very easy for me to play and live in Japan as the club, the staff and players are all very welcoming, organized and supportive and have included me in their team like family.“

What are your plans for the next season?

So, for the next season, I have re-signed with Thunders Hiroshima. I have some unfinished business there and would really like to win the championship for the club this season. I also have an amazing professional and personal relationship and situation with my club, so thought it unnecessary to change anything at this point.“

Are you planning to play in the Australian NT for the Olympic Qualifiers?

I have had discussions with the Australian national team when they were in Australia for VNL. Although I will not join them for the first round of qualification in Bari. I am hoping to join them for the Asian championships later in the international season and hopefully the Asian Olympic Qualifier next year.“

Australia will be playing with Italy, Serbia and Cameroon. What are your expectations following the rivals in this group?

If it isn’t the toughest it’s one of the toughest as two of the best and most consistent European teams are in that pool, Italy and Serbia and Cameroon are always a difficult and unpredictable team to play. It’s an interesting system for the first round of qualification but clear that some pools are more difficult than others.“

Check out more interviews.


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POL M: Young Australian coach Reynolds will command Jastrzębski next season

All this because volleyball is not e real professional sport and many clubs are managed with people with (almost) zero experience and knowledge in volleyball. And they manage money from state companies or government directly. Do not expect that that people will think differently. That is why volleyball will never move to another level and will always have some small “make up” in the future Reply

POL M: Young Australian coach Reynolds will command Jastrzębski next season

Many Strength and Conditioning Coaches/Scoutman are trying to get into coaching. Due to their lack of experience and knowledge, at first, they take a major pay cut in comparison to actual volleyball coaches. Currently, coaching jobs are paying very little, even in the top leagues, and some of the experienced coaches are not taking jobs for 25.000-40.000 EUR, knowing that demands are just as high as before when they were making double of this salary. Unfortunately, club leaderships see coaches as a disposable matter and therefore keep dropping salaries because there are candidates that will take these jobs. I am not here to judge, just to describe some of the dynamics around this profession. Reply

POL M: Young Australian coach Reynolds will command Jastrzębski next season

Interesting trend, that some coaches who specialised on physical training, some who never played volleyball on top level, became pretty successful volleyball coaches. It can be observed in some menś and women teams. It reflects a situation that volleyball has become a very physical sport. Even the world champion country, which in past had taught others, needs coaches from abroad who come into this category. Reply