Bez Presser 2014 Year End

Bezbatchenko speaks to the media

The second portion of Toronto FC’s final media session took place on Wednesday, with General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko and head coach Greg Vanney sitting down to discuss TFC’s 2014 season

Bezbatchenko dished on a myriad of topics, including the midseason coaching change, TFC’s failure to make the playoffs and the plan going forward.

On the coaching change

“There were two decisions for the coaching change. It was results oriented and it was also a vision for the club and the identity and culture of what we wanted to do. We thought the change at that time would put us in the best position to make the playoffs.”

On not making the playoffs

“Obviously we didn’t do that, but now we have a launching pad for next season. If we had waited (on making the coaching change) we would be catching up now. I think now Greg knows the players and the players know Greg and I think they understand what he’s all about.

On how big this club can grow

“I dream about that every night. On a personal level I’m really happy here. I think it’s a really exciting sports market. I think we have educated fans. I’d rather have fans booing our players if we lose than having no fans at all or apathy. That’s important for me. That’s one of the reasons I’m here.”

On player development

“We’re actively working on [acquiring a USL pro team]. It’s still too early to tell if we’re going to have a team. It’s something we’re committed to, obviously, in being a leader in terms of player development. Whether it’s in 2015, 2016 or 2017, we’re looking to have a team.”

On his performance as GM

“I think the general manager’s position is to look at the entire club and help achieve the short and long-term goals. So the short-term goal is certainly making the playoffs but it’s also putting yourself in a position to win consistently over the course of three to five years. That’s for the first team. Then you have creating a player pathway and helping improve soccer in Toronto and creating players for the first team.”

On this group of players

“We certainly have more depth than we did last year. I think the people coming off the bench at the end of the year helped our team. Everyone that stepped on the field, I thought they gave it their all. A lot of them had quite a bit of MLS experience. Do we need more {players)? Absolutely. I do think we now have a core group of a number of players we want to build around.”

On Jermain Defoe’s future with the club

“He’s under contract with Toronto FC. Until that changes he’s with Toronto FC.”