by John Dobkowski, is a special guest writer for Mister-Baseball and played for the PNT 3 x and 5 seasons in European Baseball , he is a volunteer who runs @polishbaseball on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. You can reach him here @johndobkowski
Congrats on being hired as the the head coach for the Polish Senior National team , for those who don’t know anything about you , can you please tell us about yourself and your baseball career ?
My name is Ryoma Watanabe and I’m from Akita Akita , Japan where I played high school baseball for Akita Chuo. I also played for RKU(D1) and Ibaraki Golden Golds(Japan). One of my inspirations people is Hiroyuki Sakanashi he is the HC of the Austria NBT. If I didn’t meet him 5 years ago, I wouldn’t be here in Europe. Big person for my baseball career and life. He introduce me to the Vienna Wanderers(Austria) where I played two seasons and then Przemysław Paluch introduces me to the Silesia Rybnik team (Poland) where I’m going into my third year coaching and playing.
How has the city Rybnik embrace you ?
Teammates, staffs and fans embraced me kindly when I came to Rybnik at first time.
So it was easy to get used to living there.Now Rybnik is comfortable for me and I feel like my second home town actually.
What are your plans for the senior team and U23 this season ?
About Senior, we have the European championship tournament of B-pool this summer. The plan is to win this tournament and get into the one game playoffs to jump up to A-pool.
About U23, there is no big tournament for them this year but try to build up their skills , physical and mental in the camp and let all them know what they should do in practice for winning the tournament next year.
What do you envision for the future for the National Team ?
I would like them to be a team who can provide a hope, dream and energy to people from Poland. And also hope to get a chance to play in Olympic and WBC in the future.
Have you completed your coaching staff ?
I will have Daniel Catalan as my assistant coach , he will be entering his second season as a player / manager for KWK Construction UKS Dęby Osielsko and is currently in Australia playing for the Rockingham Rams . He brings a lot of baseball knowledge to the team. He personal knows what it feels to play for your country as he is a national team player for Chile. That personal experience will be very valuable to the team . We have worked together as coaches for the U23 last year and will continue our progress this summer .
Your favorite Polish food ?
Bigos on rice(Nabe original)
Your favorite part of living in Poland ?
The people are very welcoming and nice in Poland. I enjoy the city of Kraków for sight seeing. They have beautiful old town ,an amazing Wawel Royal Castle and a lot of nice Polish snacks .
Thank you for your time and best of luck this season and in the future