Oleksandr Shovkovskyi: All youth players, including U-20 world champions, are on the list of candidates for the national team

On June 16 on the terrace of PM Hall (KVC Parkovyi) was the first this year and the first after the quarantine Parimatch Expert Club meeting ..

The format, which became traditional in 2019, once again brought together popular football experts and officials to raise the most actual topic - the restoration of football after the quarantine measures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, given the situation with restrictive measures, some participants in the meeting of the expert club took part in it online. First of all, it concerned journalists who had the opportunity to ask their questions to the club's guests through the Zoom platform.

Suspension of domestic tournaments, change of dates and locations of the Champions League and Europa League, postponement of Euro 2020 to 2021, gradual resumption of competitions and rapid promotion of eFootball - topics discussed by club members, Vice President and General Secretary of the Ukrainian Association of Football Yurii Zapisotskyi, Assistant to the head coach of the national team of Ukraine Oleksandr Shovkovskyi, defender of the national team of Ukraine Serhii Kryvtsov, head coach of Ukraine U-16 Serhii Nagornyak, public relations director of PariMatch LLC Vadym Misyura and chairman of the national eFootball association Vladyslav Shovkovskyi.

Photo by Pavlo Kubanov

Vice President and General Secretary of the Ukrainian Association of Football Yurii Zapisotskyi thanked the club's organizers for the first invitation to such a respectable event: "The slogan is "Football first!" in the last four months has changed to the slogan "Health first!", so we are glad that in these conditions we have already managed to resume the championship in the Premier League, competition in the First league should begin. But now the first and main requirement is to follow the medical protocol, the teams must be tested, because our task is to ensure that everyone in the football process is as healthy and protected as possible. Yes, we know the situation in Karpaty Lviv. We hope that everything will pass and we will not have such cases of exacerbation of the virus.

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I would like to add that a meeting of the UEFA Executive Committee will take place on June 17 with the participation of UAFA President and UEFA Executive Committee member Andrii Pavelko, at which the dates for the resumption of European Cups will be clear".

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On behalf of the coaching staff of the national team of Ukraine, the blue-yellows coach Oleksandr Shovkovskyi shared his thoughts with the guests of the expert club about his impressions from the first matches in the UPL and the state of candidates for the national team: "Of course, we want to get out of this situation as soon as possible, but first of all we have to beat the virus in this game. We are glad that there is a relaxation of quarantine, matches in the UPL have started. It is good that the teams have the opportunity to determine the winners on a sports basis, not in the offices. For two months, the players were without workouts, of course, it affected their condition. But the guys are professionals, and in the first matches we saw that they are well prepared, some are a little better, some are a little worse. But in general, the teams are already showing a decent level of readiness. Now the most important thing for us is for the championship to end and a new one to start without injuries. Then everything depends not on the players, but on the circumstances in which we find ourselves.

I managed to visit Shakhtar and Dynamo match. It is a pleasure to watch the game, the condition of the football players-candidates for the national team. The main thing is that they get in better shape in September, when we gather for official matches. But when exactly the national team will gather depends on UEFA's decisions on the future of the season in the European Cups and decisions on the timing of the Nations League.

We keep in touch with colleagues on the coaching staff by phone. We wish the players a good game at the end of the season, and we are pleased that the championship has resumed. Our football is back. And this is the main thing!”

Shakhtar and the national team of Ukraine defender Serhii Kryvtsov, who was present at the club meeting, spoke about his impressions after the resumption of the football season in the UPL on behalf of one of the participants of the championship: "We had a program of tasks from Shakhtar's coaching staff. We did it honestly and I think it helped to start well in the first matches of the championship".

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The head coach of Ukraine U-16 Serhii Nagornyak complained about the complete cancellation of international tournaments for young players, who will have to enter the new season in the fall literally "from the wheels". "Yes, everything is complicated for us so far. Many tournaments that were planned in preparation for the Euro selection have been canceled. Until September, there will definitely be no matches, even friendly ones. We hope that after the meeting of the UEFA Executive Committee there will be an understanding of the dates of official matches. After all, I do not rule out that we will have to get together at best a week before the first match and play the official match immediately", - Serhii Nagornyak said.

Recalling last year's success of Ukraine U-20 at the World Cup, the club's experts discussed the difficulties faced by young players in the transition to adult football.

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"Last year, our youth team gave us incredible emotions," said Oleksandr Shovkovskyi. - I want the guys to continue to realize themselves. This period is very difficult for every player. You can't praise or humiliate someone. This is another generation. In our opinion, there were stricter requirements for our generation. Now other times, we, the coaches, also have to adapt to them. To the guys who became world champions, I want to remember not what they won, but to remember the work that made them champions. Now in adult football there are other requirements. It is necessary to perform tasks at once, nobody gives time here any more. All the players of Ukraine U-XNUMX, which included the world champions, are on the list of candidates for the national team. We are watching everyone".

"I would like our world champions not to stop, work and work again. I was in the youth team. I understood that not everyone will get to the first team of the country. Who really wants it, it will work out", - said Serhii Kryvtsov.

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According to Serhii Nagornyak, the main factor in the transition of young football players to adult football is psychology: "First of all, this applies to young players of Dynamo and Shakhtar, clubs where the result comes first. If there is no chance to play in the first team, I always tell the guys to go on loan. You can't waste time, you have to play, develop what you have achieved. Not surprisingly, none of the world champions are currently in the main team of the country. Some are tired, some are still celebrating. But you can't stop, because you can drop out of big football after that".

Unfortunately, this year the national team of Ukraine due to the situation with the spread of coronavirus will not take part in Euro 2020, which was postponed for one year. How did the coaching staff of the national team react to this? And is it hard to play without fans? Oleksandr Shovkovskyi and Serhii Kryvtsov shared their opinions. "Everyone was waiting for the Euro, ordering match tickets, booking hotel rooms, buying plane tickets, but faced a situation unknown to us. I am looking for a positive in the transfer of the Euro. Time will pass, emotions will subside after the selection, and we will approach the Euro next year with a cold head, - says Shovkovskyi. - This is a plus. Everyone who went to the Euros will set a goal to at least leave the group. Therefore, our goal during this time is to meticulously study the weaknesses of rivals and improve our game. I'm sure in a year we will also show the game to which our fans are accustomed. I want the Ministry of Health to allow at least some of the fans to attend the matches, as has been done in some other countries".

"It is impossible to get used to playing without fans, even if they are fans of the opposing team," said Kryvtsov. - I like the atmosphere of full stands. But now the situation is such that we have to reconcile while playing without fans. Our job is to do our job. It will be good if we play the return match against Wolfsburg in Ukraine, albeit with empty stands. "

For his part, Vice President and General Secretary of the UAF Yurii Zapisotskyi said that the association has officially asked the Ministry of Health of Ukraine to allow some fans to be in the stands, citing the example of Hungary and other countries.

A separate topic of discussion at the club meeting was the growing popularity of eFootball during the quarantine and the creation of the eFootball association at the initiative of the UAF, whose president at the XXIII UAF Congress was elected Vladyslav Shovkovskyi. He said that the Ukrainian eFootball team also held exhibition games during the quarantine, inviting players of the national team - Oleksandr Zinchenko and Yevhen Konoplyanka - to the tournaments.

Photo by Pavlo Kubanov

"Given the current trends in the interests of the younger generation to spend their leisure time online, the main mission of our organization is to use e-football to stimulate and develop the interest of young Ukrainians in traditional football, create competition in digital entertainment and other e-sports. which are the reason for the transition of people from real to virtual sports, - said the chairman of the e-football association Vladyslav Shovkovskyi. - E-​football is an opportunity for people to enjoy football, feel like a football player, coach or sports director of the club and learn about almost all aspects of football life.

People who like cyber football also love big football. They just need to be helped to join our big football family, ”said the head of the newly formed association. As part of the discussion of e-football and real football cooperation, the club members expressed interesting views on regular cyber football events with the support of the UAF.

The club member could not pass by the attention that now surrounds the upcoming decisive matches in the Ukrainian championship in the First league. According to Yurii Zapisotskyi, UAF decided to finish the season in the First division based on the decision of the PFL conference: “We hope the tournament in the First league will end. Everyone missed football. There is intrigue at the top of the standings, and next season worthy teams will be able to join the UPL".

During the discussion of the tournament intrigue in the First league, Oleksandr Shovkovskyi recalled his recent visit to the location of the Rukh club, which is now the leader of the championship: I was amazed by the scale - eight football fields that will be built on modern technology. Indeed, in the First league there is a fierce competition for promotion to the top division. It will be interesting to watch the remaining matches. The main thing is that there was a sports principle and everything was decided on the field. Our country must have at least 16 professional teams in the elite division in the future".

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