On the eve of UEFA Youth League: players’ expectations

On Tuesday, 15 September, Shakhtar U19 players will play their first match in the group stage of the UEFA Youth League. In anticipation of this meeting, the players shared their expectations from the match against Real Madrid.

Oleksandr Pikhalyonok, Shakhtar U19 midfielder:

- We are in a good, fighting mood. Preparations are in full swing. Despite the fact that it will be a game against eminent opponents, we will only play to win. It will be difficult to produce the results of last season, because we have a difficult group, but we will make every effort to achieve success. This will be my second UEFA Youth League campaign, so for me it will be easier to gear up for the matches in psychological terms, experience helps. The fact that we start the tournament with an away game  is not that important; in any case it is necessary to go on the field and show your game.

Andriy Boyarchuk, Shakhtar U19 forward:

- We are preparing for a game with the utmost concentration and discipline, this competition does not involve a different approach. I believe that we need to impose our game on the opponents, without adapting to anyone; only then we can achieve a positive result. Now I have a good scoring ration in the Ukrainian league, I would like to see it continue in the UEFA Youth League. To do this we have to work and work again. In the past year, and this season we've got strong opponents. However, despite this, we must move towards our goal, win and try to claim maximum points.

Dmytro Topalov, Shakhtar U19 midfielder:

- I was looking forward to getting a chance to play in the UEFA Youth League. In past year, Shakhtar U19 showed that anything is possible, including a victory in this tournament. Now we have a team of very good players, friendly squad; we can repeat the success of last year. Our minimum task is to advance from the group, and we are dreaming, of course, about winning the UEFA Youth League. Victor Kovalenko and Mykola Matvienko got into the first team of Shakhtar after playing in this tournament, it will also be a further incentive for us. I have some international experience: when I was at Shakhtar U16, in one of the tournaments we faced Barcelona.