Mykola Matviyenko: Our national team have a good chance of success
Ukraine U-19 team went to Greece, where they will take part in the 2015 UEFA European U-19 Championship final tournament. In the Hellenes’ country, the Yellow-Blues will have the final preparation stage and play the competitive games. The team coach Oleksandr Holovko called up ten Pitmen to the national team: Oleh Kudryk, Ihor Kiryukhantsev, Mykola Matviyenko, Beka Vachiberadze, Denys Arendaruk, Oleksandr Zubkov, Viktor Kovalenko and Andriy Boryachuk.
Let us remind you that in the first leg on July 6, the Ukrainians will take on the competition’s hosts - the Greeks.
Shakhtar defender Mykola Matviyenko shared his expectations of the European Championship:
- We are getting prepared very seriously. Our challenge is to make it from the group, then we will think about our further steps. We can say that at the forthcoming Euro competition we will have an evenly-matched quartet. Besides the hosts, we will have to play France and Austria. We well know the Greeks. When we played friendlies with them, I recognised a few players from Olympiakos, which we faced in the UEFA Youth League knockout stages. They have a good national team, but at this stage there are no weak teams at all. I think we have a good chance of success. We have a close-knit team. The guys from Shakhtar form the majority in the team - and that's fine: we know each other's capabilities, plus our teamwork is advantageous.
- What’s the atmosphere in the team?
- Our team is great and friendly. We support each other if something goes wrong. Not to mention the club identity. The atmosphere is wonderful, everyone has a great relationship with the coach. By the way, at the training camp in Shchastlyve, Oleksandr B. Holovko did not overload the team and gave us three days off. In Greece, we will train for several days and then move to another hotel, where, as I got it, we will be neighbours with our opponents in the group.
- Besides your good performance at the European competition, what are the next football goals you are setting for yourself?
- I am trying to make it into the first team. Hopefully, I will be able to start playing for Shakhtar. The Pitmen’s defensive third is still made up of Ukrainian players, so it will be easier for me to get in there.