Will OK Financial Group become more cohesive this season as its new coach hopes? The team hopes to improve its defence and slowly approach the top of the table one step at a time.
On the 7th, a press conference was held at the Korea Volleyball Organisation (KOVO) press room to announce the new head coach of professional volleyball team OK Financial Group.
Previously, OK Financial Group searched for a new head coach at home and abroad due to the expiration of former head coach Seok Jin-wook’s contract. As a result, Massa Ogino, who previously coached the Sunbirds in Japan, was appointed as the third head coach. He is also the fourth foreign coach in the V-League and the second Japanese coach in the league’s history.토토사이트
Ogino, who signed a contract with the Sunbirds in May, officially took the helm of OK Financial Group on 1 January.
OK Financial Group finished the 22-23 season in fifth place (48 points, 16 wins and 20 losses) and are in desperate need of a spring break. The team won back-to-back titles in 2014-16, but hasn’t reached the finals since.
OK Financial Group’s performance has been up and down. After winning back-to-back titles in 2014-16, the team slumped to the bottom of the table for the second consecutive season in 2016-18. It then moved up to fifth, fourth, and third, before finishing fifth in back-to-back seasons in 21-22 and 22-23. A rebound is desperately needed.
Ogino Massa, the head coach, emphasised friendly exchanges and defence in his press conference.
Tight-knit organisation and a “suffocating defence” that takes advantage of their relatively short stature, along with fast-paced tosses, are hallmarks of Japanese volleyball. Japan’s men’s volleyball team is ranked 8th (286.09 points) by FIVB as of 2023. This is the highest ranking in Asia. South Korea, on the other hand, is currently ranked 33rd (128.77 points).
Ogino will bring this Japanese style of volleyball to OK Financial Group. This includes the reintroduction of defensive outside hitter Song Hee-chae, who played primarily in reception for the Woori Card. During the press conference, Ogino said, “I expect a lot from (Song Hee-chae) especially in defence, and we talked a lot because she plays the same position as me.”
Specifically, she is working on her blocking and defensive positioning. She also mentioned getting all of her forwards involved in the pipe attack. This is something that Heungkuk Life Abondanza, the women’s head coach, also emphasised in his interview with us.
Ogino also expressed his determination to build a team that will not give up, win or lose, by strengthening their defence.
Another thing Ogino emphasised on the day was communication. “When I visited the team for a while in May, I said to them, ‘Don’t use disrespectful words,'” he said. “We always emphasise friendly and communication. We’re also working on body language, like high-fives and thumbs-ups,” he said.
“We have a rule in the team: don’t call me coach, call me ‘Ogisang'”
Ogino, who calls himself “Ogi-san,” has consistently emphasised his desire to communicate with his team in a friendly manner, avoiding formal titles as much as possible.
The arrival of the third foreign coach in the history of the franchise and the fourth in the league heralded an entirely new change for OK Financial Group. It will be interesting to see if the team’s colour scheme, which was based on Leo’s offensive firepower, will change to ‘Ogino-style volleyball’, which emphasises defence, organisation and a variety of attacking options.
Meanwhile, the Dodram V-League for the 23-24 season will begin its regular season on 14 October.