Kravchenko: I well remember my first goal for Shakhtar

Friday, October 7, 2016



Today, 7 October, Sergei Kravchenko turns 60. He defended the colours of Shakhtar back in the 1980s, currently working as the club Academy talent scout. We wholeheartedly wish him a very happy birthday, as well as sound health, well-being, goodness and happiness!

- Sergei Dmitriyevich, what are your most memorable moments at Shakhtar?
- First of all, the debut in 1980, in the cup game in Samarkand. My professional career started late. In my youth I was a weak and skinny boy, lacking strength. I got stronger only by the age of twenty. At 23, they invited me to the reserve team. In 1980, I won the USSR Cup with Shakhtar. At the same time, in the season Cup tie in Simferopol, I scored one against Dynamo Kyiv. I also remember my first goal for Shakhtar really well – the away one against CSKA in the arena, with Starukhin assisting me. Plus I remember my European club competition debut – against Porto in 1984.

- How did you roles change in the course of your career?
- I joined Shakhtar as a striker. With Nosov at the helm, I started playing as a holding midfielder when Rudakov got injured. Later, I played offensively. Under Bazilevich, they put me in midfield. Later, I mainly operated in midfield or behind the striker. And in Slovakia, when completing my career, I had the sweeper role.

- After Shakhtar, you played for Tyumen...
- Right, the young Viktor Leonenko started there. Then he was 18-19 years old. Leonenko respected the older ones, and Geolog had a lot of experienced players over thirty: Sidorov, Naumenko, me... He really wanted Naumenko to move to Shakhtar, and recommended him, but something went wrong. He had excellent natural ability: young, strong, persistent, bold in a sporting way. Plus great mental health: he never kept problems back, he just let it go and worked on.

- Who was the most masterful of those, with whom you had a chance to play in the Donetsk team?
- There were a lot of players of good level. I really liked the way Starukhin played. I had known Gorbunov even before I started playing for Shakhtar. I consider Valeriy one of the best defenders of the time. With all his flaws, in everyday life he was a great guy who really loved football. Plus Sokolovskiy with his hard work and experience. The list goes on, but those three were by my side, I learned to play from them.

- The son followed in your footsteps, but always defends the colours of the Pitmen's opponents. Vorskla, Dynamo, Dnipro, Volyn... What do you feel when Sergei plays against Shakhtar?
- I always want my son to be successful. He is a professional, his objective is taking the field and working. What I want in those cases? I want Shakhtar to win, with Sergei playing well!

- What can you say about the current team and their performance this season?
- The players are about the same, but their play somewhat changed. The team is offensive and aggressive, applying the pressure. Of course, the new coach brought new requirements. The performance and some quality play are present. Even at 1-0, we can see how much stronger Shakhtar are than their opponents.