Mid-afternoon, 27 May 2019.
Scene: the boot room at Central Stadium, Mykolaiv.
Cast: Dmytro Nazarenko (coach); Mykola Gibalyuk (coach); Roman Chumak (goalkeeping coach)
NAZARENKO: The gaffer’s meeting with the senior squad went very well. The expectation of staying up, no sweat, went down well. And the code of discipline was regarded as reasonable. Though personally I fear the leniency over yellow cards could create problem down the line.
GIBALYUK: I’m not surprised it went well. Several of them are delighted to have found themselves promoted to the senior squad. In their eyes the new manager’s a hero. And the rest are relieved to find that the gaffer’s reorganisation of the squads hasn’t seen them exiled to the wastes of the B squad.
NAZARENKO: This shifting of players between squads: have we any idea what criteria the gaffer’s using?
CHUMAK: Not precisely. But it’s already pretty clear the small and weedy aren’t welcome.
GIBALYUK: So farewell Messrs Yalosevetskiy, Binevskiy, and Dumitriev.*
CHUMAK: Determined types, on the other hand, seem welcome.
GIBALYUK: Leaders too. Kovalyov’s agreed to step down from the captaincy.** Kucherenko’s been made skipper with Kushnirenko as his deputy.***
CHUMAK: You know, it’s pretty brutal. And if the new gaffer had dealt with us the way he’s dealt with the players I wouldn’t be feeling charitable. But if you look at those decisions, you know there is a logic to them.
NAZARENKO: An entirely disinterested comment, not at all influenced by the fact you’ve been elevated to media representative!
CHUMAK: I just think, maybe this guy’s serious about winning.
* Strength 1 (in each case) and jumping reach 1, 2, and 4 respectively.
** Leadership 1
*** Leadership 13 and 14 respectively.
Image credit: Центральний міський стадіон (Миколаїв) by Olexandr17