Start of Ukrainian U21 Championship: Shakhtar players’ comments

Ahead of the U-21 championship home game against Oleksandriya, the Shakhtar players shared their impressions about the season start and their move to the base in Shchaslyve.

Oleksandr Zubkov, midfielder:
- We returned from the national team camp at the UEFA European U-19 Championship not in the best mood because we had not advanced from the group. But that’s OK, we received some great experience, it will benefit us. The fact that we are back in the team adds optimism. Everything will be fine! We are fully prepared and will prove that we did not work in the training camp just in vain. We must win the first game to get more confident. We are starting from scratch. As for our objectives for the season, it’s out of the question at Shakhtar: the top spot only.

Mykyta Bezuhlyi, defender:
- We prepared very seriously, the team do increasingly better, it can be felt. The coaches say that Oleksandriya are a good team. So much the better: we are in the fighting mood, we cannot wait to start the season. If we do not claim some top spots, no one will pay any attention at us then, we need to make up for the last season. It took us long to get used to the new location after we had moved to Poltava, so here – in Shchaslyve – we gradually start feeling at home.

Andriy Boryachuk, forward:
- From the very first league match we are going to show our best qualities. Moving from Poltava to Shchaslyve, I think, will have a positive effect. The team have gained confidence that our game will now be in the spotlight. We are very happy for Viktor Kovalenko and Mykola Matviyenko, who are currently in the first team! I have been playing together with them since age 13. Even getting to the first team training is a great incentive. There is, of course, an entirely different level, and they will definitely get jitters. Similarly, we are a bit excited before the opening game, but we will handle it and try to win.