DUFL Winter Cup 2017: Pitmen advance further
Friday, February 10, 2017
Both Shakhtar Academy’s teams progressed to the competition knockout stage
In the second-in-succession Junior Football League Winter Cup, participated 35 teams, split geographically into 8 groups. Among those vying for lifting the silverware appeared two Pitmen’s Academy teams - Shakhtar U16 and Shakhtar U15.
With all the matches being held in Mariupol, younger players (born in 2002) finished second in their group by claiming two wins in three matches.
- We are just about to start training, and participation in this competition proved very useful, - says the head coach of Shakhtar U15 Igor Leonov.- We wanted to look at the boys and check up their fitness. As for this time of year, the matches were held in rather good conditions: we played the group stage games in Mariupol at the local arena. We met with strong teams. Even though the opponents were older than our boys, they tried their hardest to finish first or second to advance further. We set top objectives.
Shakhtar U15’s opponents in the next round will be decided on February 11.
2001-born footballers booked the first spot in their group prematurely, securing wins in either of four games and preserving a clean sheet. They had all their fixtures in Schaslyve.
- Apart from our goal to raise the Winter Cup, we are challenged to get ready for the Ukrainian league's restart through those ties, - Anatoliy Skyrchuk, the head coach of Shakhtar U16, reflected on his guys’ performance. - However, due to the weather conditions, it is hard to demonstrate true performance and evaluate its quality. On the other hand, I am very pleased with the boys’ determination. I see their burning eyes and willingness to work. In terms of positive issues, it is worth noting that we have conceded not a single goal throughout the competition.
On February 18, Shakhtar U16 are to face Kyiv city team.