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The teams have said goodbye to Minsk

24 April 2014 | Interview

For three days Chizhovka Arena was alive with passion. Twelve teams fought for victory in the West Group and the chance to play on April 25 in Omsk in the Super Final of the 8th Gazprom Neft Cup. The fight was so tough that the three days flew by in an instant. Now the Belarusian part of the Tournament is over. Before leaving for home, the coaches and players shared some of their thoughts.

Vladimir Karasev, head coach, Torpedo:

“I would probably agree that at the moment, 5th place is the highest we can get. In the game, and in player selection, we aren’t as good as the four best. But we got a fantastic chance to ‘roll out’ the boys, watch them in action, see what they can do in competition of such a high level. Frankly speaking, there will definitely be changes on the team now.”

Daniil Vorobyov, forward, Torpedo:

“I really liked how everything was set up here! The organizers created really comfortable conditions for us, put on interesting tours, the hotel rooms and food were simply great! We felt right at home! Minsk is a very beautiful city. As to the matches, it wasn’t easy in any of the games. We had to stay focused, concentrate and keep fighting. And I remember how everyone celebrated every goal. So many different ways! Some of them I’ve never even seen before.”

Andrei Tsvetkov, forward, Atlant:

“I’m not very pleased with the result of the tournament — I wanted to take a higher place. But, unfortunately, we lost to Dinamo Minsk on penalties and took the place we took.”

Kirill Gerasimyuk, goalkeeper, SKA:

“The most upsetting thing was to lose in the closing game, and because of a referee error. The guys were all very upset. On the whole we liked everything at the tournament a lot, a beautiful city, new locker rooms, and a super arena. And Belarus was interesting for the way they speak here — I’d never heard the Belarussian language before.”

Alexei Solovyev, second coach, Severstal:

“For us it was a big honour to take part in such important competitions against such strong and interesting opponents. The games have shown how well we worked with our team and what we’re really worth. Here we saw the real impact of our efforts — what we have taught the kids, and where we haven’t done enough. Sixth place is really not too bad, although like any club, of course, we would dream of more.”

Sergei Gromov, head coach, Dinamo (Minsk):

“We have not taken part in competitions like this before. Everything was at a very high level. The hotel, the tours — it all helped the kids to feel like a real team. Dinamo, as the host team, had plenty of chances to show off its strengths. And the opening game with a large number of fans — that’s a feeling that will stay with the boys for a long time.”