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Aleksandr Kulikov: "We've got an efficient team"

16-08-11 22:31:17

On photo (from left to right) - HC Donbass General Director Sergei Shakurov, assistant coach Sergei Viter, head coach Aleksandr Kulikov, assistant coach Anatoliy Demin. 

Having returned from Slovakia Donbass head coach Alexander Kulikov summed up the next stage of preparation for the new season:

- In Slovakia we played 7 exhibition games and continued our conditioning work - we worked in the gym, made runs. In general, everything that was planned, was fulfilled. Of course, we're pleased that we managed to win an international tournament - it's still a good experience, especially that of "Donbass" participated in such kind of competition for the first time. Another positive moment  - we played with teams of Slovak  Extraliga, and  Slovak ice hockey club has at present a good level and rating.

Yesterday we returned to Donetsk, the guys got two days off. On the 18th we will begin the next stage of training, which we will not be slowing down relative to physical conditioning, and then focus more on tactics.

- Do you feel that Slovakian period of training camp gave you a point on creating lines?

- I can't say for sure that we will continue playing in such combinations. However, I would like to point a line Bobkin - Belukhin - Donica. The boys had a duty on a good level. Other links have been changed, due to injuries of few players - Alex Borovkov, Oleg Shafarenko and Sasha Pobedonostsev. And after resume training in Donetsk we will be determined as for compositions. Moreover there are some players, who didn't go To Slovakia -Vadim Averkin and also there is Sasha Zhurun, who joined us directly in Slovakia. So a few more options, we'll see.

- Many fans in Ukraine have been pleasantly surprised by the game of Donbass in Slovakia, especially against strong teams from the Extraliga. Was it the same for for the coaching staff?

- In principle, all the guys looked good, everyone worked hard. This is natural, because they realize the goals that are set before us. So I may say that the team was ready for all games. And considering that in any encounter they should win, my players showed good game. Of course, those victories gave the guys confidence. I want to emphasize that we crept battle-worthy composition. I am sure that we will not be just actors in VHL championship. We'll show a good level of perfomance to our fans. We understand that we represent the whole Ukraine.

- In Slovakia there were 28 players at your disposal. On the return to Donetsk a certain group of players will probably be moved into the farm-club. Would you call the names of these players?

- Yes, Roman Blagoi and Pavlo Borysenko, Volodymyr Aleksyuk, Vitaly Kulikov, and a goalkeeper Yevhen Napnenko. Of course all those guys may be moved to our team back. After all, we are not saying that we send them into the team without a chance to return. Simply, there is still some objective reasons - under the new VHL Regulations in our entry-list there may be 25 players, including two goalkeepers and two juniors up to 21 years. So it makes no sense for them to be in the team without time on the rink. So they'd better play in the national championship, because there will be enough games to have a good match practice. At any moment we may take them. The road to the first team is open to anyone. So play, show yourself, and you will always be in the first team!

- Will you learn some details of your future rivals at the tournament Donbass Open Cup?

- No, we are not going to organize any special trainings. We are preparing for the championship of VHL, and we have the plan. Sure, for us it is very important tournament, and participation in it will be useful for the team. But again, our ultimate goal - a good preparation for the new season.

HC Donbass press-office