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“We gained a huge amount of experience.” Gazprom Neft Cup participants share their impressions of the tournament

23 April 2014 | Interview

The preliminary stage in the East and West groups at the 8th Gazprom Neft Cup is finished — ahead to the Super Final! This will take place on April 25 in Omsk. The teams that took part in the tournament are leaving the Siberian city, and shared their thoughts on the four days they spent here.

Sergei Istomin, head of Avtomobilist:

“Tournaments like this are really necessary, you get a huge amount of experience, meeting the best teams in the east. Now the magic shirts of other top clubs won’t hold the boys under such a strong spell. It’s just a shame that we didn’t get to play the West teams.”

Vladislav Vostritsov, forward with Avtomobilist:

“Everything was great at the tournament, at the highest level — the food, the organization, and the games themselves were very interesting. We just didn’t get very far — all the teams were very strong. Especially Traktor and Ak-Bars. I want to test myself in games against teams from other countries — Jokerit, Donbass, Dinamo (Riga). The city of Omsk is also interesting. This is not my first time here, we’ve come often to watch the adult Avangard team, so we know this is a hockey town.”

Sergei Akimov, head coach, Sibir:

“Of course we liked the tournament — the conditions, the accommodation, the organisation. This all has an effect on the kids — they want to play hockey whatever. They dream about playing in big arenas, and you have to train a lot for that. They saw the first game during the opening, the show. The guys were of course in heaven. All of this helps to raise young hockey players.”

Vladimir Medvedev, forward with Neftekhimik:

“The whole team and I liked the tournament. The opening was beautiful, the laser show was impressive. All the teams were good, the organisation was excellent. This was our first time in Omsk, it’s a very beautiful city, we went to the museum, walked a lot, and took tours. I’m just a little disappointed with the place we took. We didn’t realise all of our opportunities. Maybe we weren’t completely in the game. If we’d played all the way, I’m sure we would have made it to the final.”

Ivan Borisov, forward, Yugra:

“It was all good. We didn’t do that well, but I hope that next time we’ll win. We’ve been to Omsk many times, we’ve even won, but this time we couldn’t hold on to victory. In addition to the games we also walked around the city, had tours, went to the cinema and saw the film ’Realnaya belka’”.

Alexander Zakharin, forward, Yamal:

“We didn’t manage to win even once. Now we know that we have got to fight in every game, in every period. We’ll do better in other tournaments. Right after the games we had a ’rest time’, relaxed, recovered for the next game. Then we went around the city. This is not the first time our team has been in Omsk, so when you go around the city you already know w few places, a lot seems familiar.”

Artur Fakhrutidinov, head coach, Barys:

“Of course we tried, we fought, in every game of the tournament. At first we didn’t manage anything, but then in the last game we found our strength, although it was hard after so many difficult losses in a row. Thank you to the guys, they worked so hard even when losing. The experience of this tournament has been absolutely huge for us — this is the first time we’ve met these kinds of teams. The kids know who’s who, and they were always up for it. They also got a chance to relax from the games, we took them on tours, to the cinema, and the museum.”

Sardar Kamibaev, forward, Barys:

“First of all we really liked the organisation. We were really happy from our first minute in Omsk. On the journey we got tired, but they met us well, and we forgot about our tiredness. I really liked the ice, you can play fast hockey on this ice. We tried the ice in the Omsk Arena and in the Avangard youth hockey centre, it’s great everywhere, really nice to skate on. In other competitions you have to get used to the ice, but here we didn’t have to — you just do what you want. And the opening was good. They fed us well in the hotel, there was a lot of food, which is good because we recovered quickly. And they were constantly giving us presents — our player Konstantin Dvyrechensky won an X-Box 360. And it’s all so great, we can get experience in playing with strong teams. This was our first time at the tournament, the next time we also want to win.”