Shakhtar U19 start the season: match preview
On Sunday, 2 August, the Pitmen will face Illichivets on Matchday 1 of the Ukrainian U19 league. We bring you a preview of the game.
2 August, Schaslyve, Knyazha Arena, 18:00
Just like Shakhtar U21, the U19 side moved to a new base in the new season – to the settlement called Schaslyve, Kyiv region. Here, at the Knyazha Arena, the Pitmen will play their home games. Shakhtar U19 now have a new coach in Serhiy Kovalyov, whose assistant will be Gennadiy Orbu.
In the last season, the U19 side, who was coached by Valeriy Kryventsov, played successfully: the Pitmen reached the final of the UEFA Youth League and won the Ukrainian league title, which gives the right for Serhiy Kovalyov’s charges to take part in the European U19 club competition. Now it is not known yet, from which stage, - everything depends on the senior team’s qualification for the Champions League group stage.
Referee – Vitaliy Malyar (Khmelnitskiy)
Assistant referees – Oleksandr Dsahko (Kyiv region), Pavlo Kasanov (Vynnytsya)
Fourth official – Dmytro Osaulenko (Kyiv)
Referee observer – Leonid Kubuyak (Kyiv Oblast)
Shakhtar U19 current squad changed naturally: players that came from that age group now play for the U21 side. However, the age of some players from last year’s squad allows them to play for U19 in the UEFA Youth League. Pikhalyonok, Grachyov, Fursov and others have such experience.
In the last season, U19 teams of Shakhtar and Illichivets got into the same group B, where five teams faced each other in three rounds. All the matches of the opponents took place at the base in Poltava in the village of Kopyly and all three saw the Pitmen claim 2-0, 5-0 and 2-1 wins. The Pitmen reached the final round from the first place, and the Mariupol side took fifth place in the group, claiming 6 points in 12 games. Starting from the current season, the format of the U19 league will be different: 16 clubs played a two round robin. 14 participants represent their respective senior teams that are playing in the Premier League, and Illichivets and Skala (Stryi) have been included into the competition based on their rankings.