Avangard 2007, currently training for the Gazprom Neft Cup, features several players whose older brothers have previously taken part in this major KHL kid’s tournament. An example is defender Pavel Yanevsky’s older brother, who played in the same position in the Avangard 2001 team and for Omsk Hawks. He often comes to Avangard 2007 training sessions to help his younger brother prepare for the tournament.
Sergey Yanevsky, Omsk Hawks defender:
— The Gazprom Neft Cup is not only the ultimate kid’s tournament, it’s also the most challenging: it’s the first time you play in front of packed stands, and that makes you nervous. We played our first game against Traktor, and we conceded a goal right before the first line change! We had to get ourselves together and focus on the game, but we still didn’t make it further than the quarter finals in the end. I now use this experience when I talk to my brother; it’s good that I’m able to tell him about it and help him prepare mentally: I know firsthand just how hard it’s going to be.
— Do you follow his matches and training sessions?
— Yes, I go along to his training sessions whenever possible and watch what he does and how. If I notice him making any mistakes, we always talk through them afterwards. Of course, the coaches who are now preparing the team for the tournament have the most influence on him.
— What is your wish for your brother’s team?
— An Omsk team hasn’t won the Gazprom Neft Cup for a long time, so my wish is that Avangard 2007 takes victory! Prove to us that Omsk has one of the best ice-hockey schools in Russia!
Pavel Yanevsky, Avangard 2007 defender:
— I was still a very little boy when my brother played in the Gazprom Neft Cup, but he tells me a lot about it. Our situations are a bit different, though, because Sergey was a forward, and I’m a defender, but he’s played in defence for a while now, so he can give some useful advice.
— Your brother talks to you about his experience, but what about your team: how are you preparing for the tournament now?
— We have started playing more, and we often play against kids that are a year older than us. We are training more, developing our most important skills: strength, speed, skating and puck possession. We have new players on the team, so competition has increased. I hope all of this will help us perform better at the Gazprom Neft Cup, but for now I’d like to wish for my team to try harder, play better and be successful!