By Türker Tozar
Being a club doctor is a demanding job. You are always on call, everyone relies on your expert advice, and coaches and fans will hang on your every word as you race to get a key player fit for an important game.
Setting the pace
Ayhan Optur performs such a role for Besiktas JK, who have been setting the pace at the top of this season's Turkish Super League, in addition to reaching the last 16 of the UEFA Cup. uefa.com will next week be looking at Dr Optur's work in detail. However, as 2003 approaches, he first revealed his plans for the festive season and the forthcoming year.
uefa.com: How do you plan to celebrate on New Year's Eve? Ayhan Optur: Until the Saturday before Christmas, I could not think about anything as we had a full programme for the two months preceding it. It was only on the Sunday that I started thinking about it. I did not make any plans for the period as there could be a shocking injury which would completely spoil them.
uefa.com: Will you make any resolutions for 2003?
AO: Yes. I want to continue my education and become more specialised within my profession. I first have to pass an exam about specialising in certain sorts of medicines, though. This exam requires consistency and studying, but unfortunately I do not have this time at the moment. As soon as I find the time, I will start focusing on it. Currently my biggest goal is to see Besiktas win the championship.
uefa.com: Is there anything that you would particularly like to see happen in the world, or in football, in 2003?
AO: I would like to see Besiktas clinch the championship as that would be a special way for the club to mark its centenary. To feel as though I have made even a slight contribution to a championship triumph would make me very happy. Also, I would like to see Besiktas make themselves known in Europe and in the world. Besides this, fair play should be the goal to reach. As a club, we would like to see fans gather in the stadiums and see football as a form of entertainment and so take pleasure from it. The players enjoy a great relationship with each other, the medical staff likewise, and we all want to see exactly the same thing in the stands. Supporters from rival teams should be able to sit and watch matches together.
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