The Ufa’s team Salavat Yulaev-2004 has entered the final stage of preparation for the Gazprom Neft Cup KHL Kids Hockey Tournament which will become the closing point in the season for the young ‘yulaevists’, and that’s why the goals they set themselves are the most ambitious ones. Specially for our website, Salavat Yulaev Hockey Club press service asked questions the coaching staff and the captain of the team.
Danila Shinkar, Salavat Yulaev-2004 chief coach:
— The guys are getting ready as we are going to take part in a very serious tournament where the best children’s hockey teams will meet. After the New Year we started practicing for the Gazprom Neft Cup, and it was a fruitful and structured process with clear goals. We went to a
— Have you already outlined in your mind what the squad will be?
— I’ve got hints. We still have a week till departure for Omsk, so any force majeure situation is possible. Lord forbid, someone can get injured or sick.
— How important is it for children to participate in a tournament like the Gazprom Neft Cup?
— A tournament of such a level is definitely an additional motivation for the guys. They need to show themselves, they understand this, as the opening matches and the Super Final of the Gazprom Neft Cup are even broadcast on KHL-TV. I think that the guys will do their best to get to the main match of the competition. And winning in such a tournament would be memories for the whole life. It can become the first step into their professional career and will never be forgotten.
— Aren’t you concerned that the guys won’t be able to prepare psychologically right because of the great attention riveted to the team?
— I think that they will. It’s still Avangard, the host of the tournament, who will bear the great attention and pressure, because Omsk arenas gather full stands. Still, we, the coaches, will try to calm and encourage the guys for our part so that they are not worried and nervous, or we won’t be able to show our best qualities.
The young ‘yulaevists’will play at the Gazprom Neft Cup for the fifth time already. Ufa’s young hockey players were previously not successful at getting to medals. In 2011 and 2013 they took the sixth place, and the eighth place in 2012. The most successful performance of Salavat was last year, when it was the 4thin the East Group. In 2015, Danila Shinkar’s pupils are seriously set up to overcome this barrier and try to reach for the medals of the international tournament.
Sergey Kolesnikov, captain of Salavat Yulaev-2004.
— How does the team prepare for the Gazprom Neft Cup?
— The preparations for the tournament go well. We pretty much drill the breakout, 2 in 1 and 3 in 2 leads. We went to a training camp in Sochi, liked it very much, did great work there.
— How important is it to win the upcoming tournament?
— None of the Salavat Yulaev Youth Sports School teams were previously successful at winning the Gazprom Neft Cup. Of course, we want to win very much. I think that the key will be the team’s attitude and organisation. Our players are very industrious, they fight even when they lose.