The Talking Game is a regular column in which members of TheHardTackle chat with players, coaches, staff, agents and almost anybody who has a part to play in the beautiful game. In this edition of The Talking Game, editor Aditya Balaram caught up with 2.Bundesliga side Eintracht Braunschweig’s attacker Randy Edwini-Bonsu.
After a twenty nine year hiatus from Germany’s top division, Eintracht Braunschweig are on course to make a return to the Bundesliga. Still a starlet in their side, Edwini-Bonsu hasn’t set the league on fire as yet but has shown signs of promise. He has also managed to earn a spot in Tony Fonseca’s Canadian national team. Aditya talks to him about the club’s imminent return to top flight football, his aspirations and Canada’s chances at the Gold Cup.
Aditya Balaram: Eintracht Braunschweig are now within inches of returning to the Bundesliga. What is the overall atmosphere like at the club right now?
Randy Edwini-Bonsu: It’s very exciting. The whole city is behind us and it’s an amazing feeling for the entire club.
AB: Greuther Fürth and Fortuna Düsseldorf were both lacking in recent top division experience, and have struggled to find their feet in the Bundesliga. Do you think this will be a factor that will affect Eintracht next season?
REB: I think experience would help but I know that Greuther Fürth and Fortuna Düsseldorf don’t have the team chemistry Braunschweig has and that will be key for us next year.
AB: You played in Canada and Finland before arriving in Germany. Was there a distinct change in the style of play and training when you arrived in Germany?
REB: Yes, it was very tough because in a span of 6 months I played in 3 different countries with 3 different styles of play, so it wasn’t easy. It took me longer than I thought to adjust to life in Germany with the language etc…
AB: Why did you decide to move to lower leagues in Europe rather than stay in North America and hope to make it big in the MLS?
REB: I always wanted to play in Germany and I thought of making a move to Europe and it was the perfect time. I wasn’t really keen about MLS during that time but I’m happy to see that league growing.
AB: Will it be possible for Eintracht to hold on to players like Ermin Bicakcic and Domi Kumbela in the coming transfer window? Do you think these players hold the key to Eintracht’s future in the Bundesliga?
REB: Those two players are definitely a key part of the team but I think the team chemistry will be the key factor in Braunschweig’s future and success in the Bundesliga.
AB: Was settling down in Germany a difficult task for you? Was there any team member in particular who helped you get used to the new place?
REB: Settling in Germany was very tough. I only knew a few words like “thank you” and “good morning” and such. But I was very grateful to have such an amazing team where most players could help me with the language and make my transition much smoother. Everyone including people from the club lend in a helping hand and I am thankful for that.
AB: Moving on to the international scene, when do you think we can see Canada in the World Cup again?
REB: I could see Canada in the 2018 World Cup. We have such a bright future and I have no doubt in my mind that we will do well in the future.
AB: You recently made your 2nd and 3rd appearances for Canada in friendlies against Japan and Belarus. Are you confident of keeping your place in the squad and representing Canada at the Gold Cup in June?
REB: Yes, I played very well and the coach was pleased with my performance. It was a measuring stick for me to see what level I am at, especially since I am playing against some top talents in the Bundesliga and all over Europe. Thankfully Tony Fonseca believed in my abilities to start me in both games. I did well and am positive I will earn a call to the Gold Cup this summer.
AB: Canada have drawn Mexico, Martinique and Panama in the group stage of the Gold Cup. How do you rate your nation’s chances knowing that two of the three other teams in the group are ranked above Canada?
REB: On any given day anyone can beat anybody. Canada has a very good chance of moving to the next round and we will definitely go into the games with no fear for anybody.
AB: You are known to be a fairly regular user of Twitter so how important is it for a player to be allowed to use social media freely? Where do clubs draw the line as to what players can publicly talk about?
REB: I have had a Twitter account for a few years. It’s a nice way to communicate with the fans but as a professional you have to be careful of what you write. Some clubs encourage twitter and some don’t, most clubs draw the line at sharing too much private information about the team and as a professional you shouldn’t be doing that anyway. What happens in your house stays in your house you shouldn’t allow other people into it.
AB: Can we expect you to make the move to a bigger club in Europe in the near future? What is the main criteria for players from outside Europe when they have to decide which clubs to move to?
REB: My goal is to move to a bigger club in Europe. I’m still young so I just have to keep my head down and work towards that. For players wanting to come to Europe, you have to look at what style of play suits you and where you can have success and most importantly where you can live life without having to look over your shoulder, and thankfully Germany is a wonderful place to live.
We would like to thank Randy Edwini-Bonsu and Eintracht Braunschweig’s Public Relations representative Denise Schäfer for taking time off from their busy schedule and entertaining our request.