Thursday, September 13, 2007

"This Team Will Be Successful, With Or Without Me"

"This Team Will Be Successful, With Or Without Me"
Translated and Edited By Ozgur R. Nazilli

Last year, when Rustu was injured and Volkan was not his usual self, Fenerbahce fans were suddenly overwhelmed with a sense of despair. Then, just at the right time, a forgotten player stepped up, and his performance and professionalism has been applauded by us ever since. This savior was Serdar Kulbilge, the 27 year-old goalkeeper of Fenerbahce.

" I will go into a check-up tomorrow, and the doctors will decide if an operation is necessary based on the results of it. Fenerbahce is destined for success, with or without my help. I will always be a part of this team, even if I am not physically present on the field" said an adamant Serdar, in an answer to a question about his return date.

" At the start of the season, we made a statement as the goalkeepers of Fenerbahce; we said each and every one of us was ready to take his spot on the field if it was needed. I have been injured, and this injury pained me more because I was not able to keep my promise at the beginning of the season. But it is a well known fact that my brother (used to mean " a very close friend" in Turkish) Volkan is a really good keeper. He has given some very successful performances in my absence. I believe in him, and support him 100%. This year, there is a very special atmosphere in the team. The motivation level is really high. We are all very determined to succeed in the Champions League. This season, it will be different: We will be the ones who eliminate their opponents and go up to the next level." The only thing I can add is: We believe in all of you Serdar, and we know that every individual who wears the Fenerbahce colours will do his utmost for the team.

In an answer to another question about his injury: "Everyone in the team, especially the goalkeepers have been very supportive during my injury period. They keep my moral high, and make me want to get back to training and doing my best as soon as possible. I would like to thank them all for everything they have done for me." This positive atmosphere in the team is very important in my opinion. A group of professionals who solely do their jobs is much less likely to succeed than a team of friends, who help, support and understand each other. I am sure these close ties will bear fruit in the coming days.

On the topic of Zico: " I was the 3rd goalkeeper of this team, after Rustu and Volkan. Zico is such a good manager that he did not forget me since there were two keepers before me. On the contrary, he motivated me, kept me training for the future, and thanks to his support, today I am the primary goalie of Fenerbahce. I have to especially acknowledge Zico's support in this; when Zico is in charge, you know that if a player works hard and does his best, he will definitely get his chance in the first eleven. He always delivers upon his promises and awards your hard work with a spot on the field. Since he was a player himself in the past, he is very just in these issues." What can I say, I hope everyone who has been criticizing Zico as a bad manager will read these comments.

Finally, a word from Serdar to the fans: "I would like to especially emphasize this: I have not been able to deliver upon the promise I made at the beginning of this season, and this makes me very sad. I owe it to the fans to do my best, and if they can be patient until I recover, I will definitely deliver upon my promise. I would like to ask only one thing from the fans, and this goes for every player of our team: The worst thing for a player is being booed by the fans you are trying to make happy. So if the fans want the best for the team, they should stop these destructive acts. It is not helpful at all, and it is a huge blow for everyone on the team to see one of their own getting booed on the field." This is a HUGE pet peeve of mine. I can never understand how a fan can boo or curse his/her own team. Those are OUR players on the field. Our only duty as fans in the stadium is to be supportive. This should not be that hard. Please, I agree 100% with Serdar: Keep the negative atmosphere off Sukru Saracoglu.

(photo courtesy of Article translated from the original Turkish on


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