Shakhtar U-14 – Champions of Ukraine!

In a breathtakingly exciting game, the young Pitmen snatched a win against their Dynamo Kyiv counterparts.

Definitely, this match could not but give the audience some outstanding game, thick plot and persistent competition between the opponents. The teams fought for every inch of the pitch. Not surprisingly, most of the time the ball was held in midfield, albeit with regular threatening attacking moves in different directions. The Kyiv side were the first to succeed in matching the key to Donetsk’s defence – they opened the scoring in the 10th minute. The Pitmen levelled it in the second half through the effort of Dmytro Babenko. However, normal time was not sufficient for the teams to reveal the stronger side. So it went to the penalty shoot-out. Shakhtar proved stronger on penalties. Anatoliy Trubin saved two penalties, while Volodymyr PelypakMykyta KabrelRoman Bodnya and Dmytro Babenko converted their spot kicks.

Besides the league trophy, Shakhtar U-14 were awarded individual prizes: Anatoliy Trubin was recognized as the best goalkeeper of the tournament, and the best defender title went to Alan Aussi. Interestingly, at a preliminary stage the Pitmen played poorly against Dynamo, finishing in second spot and advancing to the finals only through the knockout games. And just on the way to the final, Shakhtar U-14 beat one by one their peers from Dnipropetrovsk-based Dnipro (4-0), Lviv-based Karpaty (1-0) and Chornomorets Odesa (4-0).

Shakhtar U-14 players finish the 2014/15 season being the domestic champions!

Dynamo U-14 (Kyiv)  1-1 (3-4 on pen.)  Shakhtar U-14 (Donetsk)

Goal for Shakhtar: Babenko (56’)

Shakhtar U-14: Trubin, Byblyk, Kharchenko, Aussi, Prokha (Sydorov - 48’), Bodnya, Babenko, Pelypak, Snisar (Kabrel - 31’), Zorylo, Holyk (Morozov - 60’)

Head coach: Oleksandr Ladeyko
Coach: Oscar Ratulutra

Oleksandr Funderat, FC Shakhtar Academy Director:

- At the beginning of the season, I was well aware that the most difficult thing for this team will be to qualify from the group. They are the youngest boys, and the majority of them are from Donetsk, and they had to go through flights, trips. They are suffering from separation from parents, from home, more than the others. Therefore, it has been very difficult for the boys this season, but in the last games, of course, they have significantly stepped up the game. I went to watch them play play-offs: in Vinnytsia, Lviv, - and I saw with my own eyes how the guys were improving from game to game, feeling more confident. I think that was what they have not had enough of during the entire season. The guys finally realized that they should not be afraid of anyone. And then, when the team won twice 4:0 in the group, I think that was the point from which the team headed towards the league title. Of course, most of all I was pleased to hear from people, who congratulated me and who attended the final, that they are yet to see in any team the spirit that prevailed today in the stands, where the whole Academy were supporting U-14. I think that taking a penalty to one of the most popular Donbas songs – “Young guy took to the Donetsk steppe” – means a lot.

Miguel Cardoso, FC Shakhtar Academy Coordinator:

- Of course, the final match-up turned to be emotional just like all the games between Shakhtar and Dynamo. It is a very important victory! The boys and the coaching staff, who have reached this triumph, have done a great job. The team had some difficulties at the beginning of the season due to a move, but we did not complain. Overall, it has been a pretty difficult season for our Academy, but we are working and looking ahead. We must continue in the same spirit, develop players for them to grow to the level of the senior team – this is our main task.

Oleksandr Ladeyko, U-14 head coach:

- There is no need for extra motivation before such matches. We were playing in a decent manner, and we were confident of not losing this game. In the course of the season, Dynamo have looked better, but our guys have worked well in training and in matches, and in the final tournament, we managed to reach our maximum. We have improved in every aspect, especially in psychology, because since last year we have been here, in Schaslyve. Everything seems to be good: the base and the school are near-by. But, of course, everyone wants to go home to Donetsk. I wished the boys to have a good rest. We will get together on 10 August.

Anatoliy Trubin, U-14 goalkeeper:

- I do not consider myself as a hero of the match, this victory is the merit of the whole team, all the guys tried their best. During a penalty shootout, I was trying not to guess and but react to all the shots. I am happy to have helped the team become champions of the country!

Volodymyr Pelipak, U-14 team captain:

- An early goal geared the team up even more. We were not upset, we pulled ourselves together. We counted on an early goal, started aggressively, but conceded a goal. When a dangerous free kick was appointed, I was sure that we would score an equaliser. It does not matter how many chances teams had. Dynamo are a very strong team, but the result is on the scoreboard, and we are the champions! We will celebrate this success by eating sweets.

FC Shakhtar