|Leonid Buriak: "Georgia is always a strong opponent"
April 15, 2002
Ukrainian national team are meeting Georgians in a friendly game in Kyiv on April 17. The Ukrainian side head coach Leonid Buriak told about team's preparations for the match on Wednesday.
Mr. Buriak, how is Oleg Luzhny? Will we see him in the game?
I spoke to him on the phone the other day. He felt quite well but said an older slight injury has reminded of itself. So we decided not to call him in as it's the hottest time in the premier league. It's so pleasant the Ukrainian representative in Arsenal has a clear opportunity to become a champion in England. All invited players but Shevchenko have already came to Kyiv on Sunday. Andriy is flying in today from Frankfurt.
What does the match mean for you?
We try to get a positive result in every friendly match we play. However, it isn't always the main goal. Well, we really played not too successful in Japan and Romania. But I'm satisfied with the team's performance in the first match. As for the game in Constanta, let us not forget that our footballers have participated in domestic championship matches just two days before that. We'll do our best not to disappoint our fans. Also we plan to watch in the game Serhiy Poklonsky from Dnipro and Yuriy Maxymov, Serhiy Skachenko and Serhiy Nahorniak who all returned to the national team.
Are the two last fit?
Our representative visited China to see Nahorniak playing. Skachenko, who is French Metz striker, unfortunately hasn't got a permanent place in the stating line of the club but we know his abilities very well and believe in him.
You have dropped Andriy Voronin this time. Why?
I've been to Germany twice to watch him and made a conclusion Andriy cannot compete with Shevchenko, Rebrov and Vorobei as a forward. He can play in midfield as well but he still has to improve some aspects of his game. Anyway, we count on the Mainz player especially considering his young age. We could take him for Moscow tournament of four that will be held in mid-May.
Are the Ukrainians who play for Russian clubs fit enough?
Levytsky and Parfenov have some problems, not too serious though. In our opinion, Kormiltsev isn't quite fit functionally though Torpedo Moscow coaches are fully satisfied with him. We also keep an eye on other Ukrainians in Russia including Spartak Moscow midfielder Eduard Tsykhmeistruk. We are going to give him a chance too.
Is the Georgian team the rival that would allow you to define your players potential?
We know well Alexander Chivadze team's possibilities. They have always had wonderful footballers that play for clubs in England, Scotland and Germany. Besides, the Caucasian players must be in the best of spirit trashing South Africa 4-1 not long ago. In short, the match promises to be a very interesting and useful one.
Edited by AG from DSA