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Sunday, 21 August 2016 20:45

GOTM Winner - June

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The pundit with the pun, it’s Sun with June’s Goal of the Month! 007 fans out there will be familiar with Drax from the 1979 spy picture Moonraker. Well this months pun and GOTM pays homage courtesy of Heerenveen’s very own German gun, Julian Draxler. Draxler’s out-of-this-world strike (Walther PPK... Gun... Drax... Moonraker... out of this world... get it? Errr... yeah... I’ll grab my coat) secured FUBAR the remarkable feat of successive GOTM victories! Dodgy pun association aside, I travelled to Holland this week to catch up with FUBAR and discuss his back-to-back victories, the goal, and Toni Kroos amongst other things.

Let's get straight to point! Following Christophe Kramer's GOTM victory in May, you have now won back-to-back GOTM Awards, congratulations! How does it feel to be May and June's GOTM winner and did you ever imagine you would achieve such an amazing feat?

Hi Sunzi, It’s a great feeling to sit here again for back-to-back GOTM interviews. I was very confident in the quality of Julian’s goal and felt that victory again could be possible, but you just never know; after all, there were some great contenders for the accolade.

On to the goal; Draxler is undoubtedly a classy player - famed for his immaculate technique - but the finish surprised many observers; did you know that Draxler was capable of such acrobatics? Is this something you have been working on in training?

Whilst the finish might come of surprise, I know what Julian is capable of – he possesses the greatest technique in the squad. We don’t necessarily work on acrobatic finishes in training, no; however the mentality I instil in my players is the key.
As per the interview I gave for May’s GOTM, I expect goals like this from Julian and Karim (Bellarabi). These finishes test a players technique for sure, but I prioritise mentality to build confidence in my players – they are given freedom to play fearlessly – Julian’s goal showcases a combination of technical brilliance and fearlessness.

Talk me through the goal please - what aspect of it pleased you the most - the build up, the space created for the cross, the sumptuous finish - do share?

It was a team goal - the boys worked it well! Emre continues to mature as a player; he started the move with a surge into the box and had the presence of mind to find Ebert. From then on, it’s highly unlikely that Patrick (Ebert) will fail to find his cross – he used every bit of his 85 Lofted Pass to perfectly lay it on for Draxler who finished with aplomb. We spoke about the quality of Julian’s finish but I also want to highlight his game awareness – he deserves credit for the timing of his run and ability to create space.

This wasn't your only entry for June's GOTM, so tell me, was this your favourite? It was clearly everyone elses!

Without doubt! It’s the Goal of the Season for me! Maybe we will see a GOTS with all the winners – but yes! It was easily my favourite.

Yes maybe we will see a GOTS...Moving on from the goal, we are now entering the final stages of the season - tell me about Heerenveen's aspirations - will you be happy with a play-off position or will there be a big push to try and gain automatic promotion?

After the disappointing end last season and a 14 game win-less streak earlier this season, we are firmly grounded and realistic about our chances. We have done well to consolidate and I would be very happy with a Play-Off position.

You have some big games still to play, are there any in your opinion that will make or break Heerenveen's season - is there any particular opponent that you are cautious of?

Honestly – it has been extremely turbulent at Heerenveen in recent times – of course the aim is to gain promotion via the Play-Offs otherwise we are already looking forward to next season. Heerenveen will remain committed in it’s quest to amass as many points as it possibly can but realistically I have one eye on next season.

Who is your key player for the closing stages of the season?

The man of the moment, Julian Draxler – Julian has 10 goals to his name already, the expectation is for him to add a few more to keep us in the hunt for a Play-Off position.

How is the big-money man, Kroos settling in?

Toni has settled well but such are the standards that he sets for himself, he believes that he is capable of more and is working to deliver on that front. The coaching staff is encouraged by Toni’s start but understand that the level expected of players at Heerenveen is likely to be higher than that of what he has experienced at previous club Real Madrid.
I believe that a full pre-season at Heerenveen will prepare Toni for the challenges ahead - a player of his pedigree can only succeed. Heerenveen players undertake the commitment to prioritise work hard when signing for the club – with Toni it’s a matter of time.

I should ask, PES2017 is nearly here - what are your impressions? What are you looking forward to and do you have any concerns?

I haven’t allowed myself to get too caught up in the hype. I have viewed a few videos and am encouraged with what I have seen so far – the game looks to be moving in the right direction.
For me, PES2017 represents the potential return of key players to the squad after a year out. Leon Goretzka, Bernd Leno and Lars Bender will feel like new signings – what they could bring to the club for Season 10 cannot be underestimated or overstated!
It is early though and nothing about their returns has been confirmed but talks continue so watch this space.

Right... The big question... Tell me FUBAR, can you do it? Can you do it again and achieve an unprecedented third successive GOTM?

This competition is always tough to win – we are represented by Jon Guidetti this month; it is a lovely strike but might not be enough to secure an unprecedented third straight win – nevertheless to have won the award in successive months is a great honour for me!

An honour it must be – two successive GOTM awards and an entry in contention for July’s gong! Congratulations once again FUBAR and good luck for the July GOTM and the remainder of season 9.
Well there you have it! The thoughts of FUBAR on an excellent goal by Julian Draxler and his hopes for the future. I’ll be back for more puns and punditry next month!

Read 1163 times Last modified on Sunday, 21 August 2016 21:17