“You have to be able to benefit from losses also”


The Women’s Junior Russian National Team has finished its participation in the 2017 U-17 European Championship Elite round in France. Russian players placed third in their group, failing to qualify for the final stage of the tournament. Senior coach, Valentin Gavva, sums up the results of our team’s performance.

- Immediately after the final match in the Elite round against Belgium, you assembled the team in the central circle of the field and talked about something for a while…
-We talked with the girls about how we should not lose heart. Sure thing everyone was upset, for sure we were aiming to perform the best we could, and we do not renege on our word; however, the realities of today’s football are such that the leading national teams in Europe are at a higher level of mastery than we are. We could count on making it to the final stage of the 2017 Euro not just by maxing out on our ability, but also with a bit of luck and counting on the circumstances to line up just right. One has to be objective: we have a really hard time playing against teams like France.

- What about with teams like Belgium?
- That is a team of our caliber, but they got luckier in the head-to-head game against us. Besides, you have to give it to them – the Belgian girls were better prepared in their tactical thinking than our girls. We still lack in this component, and, unfortunately, that is what determined the outcome. Yes – we tried, yes – we worked hard, and we were able to counter them. But to be honest, the level of training for girls in Belgian football is a tad higher than that in Russian football. As far as our team goes, we talked about how there will be more tournaments to come, life goes on, and that one needs to be able to glean benefit from defeat as well and to make conclusions.

-You talked about the junior national team’s mission and player development. How many girls from this team are potential National Team material?
- Statistics are tricky. I think five or six players should be able to make it, but I really hope that there will be more than that. Each player on our squad has something special, and each one has a chance to make it in professional football.