Paulo Fonseca about camps, Solomon and young players’ future

Saturday, February 9, 2019



Shakhtar manager Paulo Fonseca reflects on the winter training camps, young players and newcomers

- Paulo, on the training camp in Turkey, you were somewhat unlucky in terms of weather. And what pleased you the most?
- The dedication of every player and compromising with one another while doing the job. And, you're right, of course, the weather upset me. This year, we’ve really been a little bit unlucky, because there were multiple showers. Nevertheless, I like to come with the team to Turkey, where there are excellent conditions for training camps.
- In friendlies, you tried to distribute the game time among them all. In which game were you more satisfied with your men’s performance?
- Frankly speaking, I liked every game. Of course, when you lose, you’re not that happy. But I’ve got to admit that in the test games I don’t really pay attention to the outcome. Although if you ask me whether I like to win, I will say ‘of course’. There were different friendlies, more or less difficult. If we drop a couple of things individual performance wise, then I liked everything.
- What’s your impression of Valerii Bondarenko and Manor Solomon?
- Unfortunately, Bondarenko trained very little with us: he got in trouble, he got injured, so I can’t yet evaluate his work more specifically. Solomon? He meets the club policy requirements. He’s the young player we’ve watched for some time. Having come to Shakhtar, Manor proves that he’s got all the attributes and can really help us. He’s hard-working, he wants to learn, and I’m happy with his performance. Although we shouldn’t forget that he’s just arrived, being the young football player who’s left his country for the first time and currently integrating into a specific playing style of ours. The rest have been working with me for two and a half years now, they know what to do, while he’s just learning. But I really like this player.
- There was a group of young guys present on the training camp: Anatolii Trubin, Mykhailo Mudryk, Valerii Bondar, Viktor Korniienko, Serhii Chobotenko made one appearance. What’s your take on their progress?
- I must admit that some situations were unforeseen. The only thing we discussed in advance was Mudryk joining the team. Due to the injuries of Ordets and Bondarenko, we needed some central defenders to help us during the training camp. I was pleased with their performance, especially with that of Bondar. He’s a smart player with character, he’s young, he faces big competition in the future, but at the moment I hope that he will stay with us. I’m really delighted about his job.
- How do you see the nearest future of Mudryk and Sikan?
- It depends on the players only. Of course, they are really gifted. I sincerely believe that Mudryk’s full of talent, but he still needs to learn many things, and the most important thing is that he himself must understand that. He doesn’t know everything yet. And if Mykhailo really wants to become a top player, he will need to change his behaviour a little. Now regarding Sikan. Danylo is a very kind, great and capable guy. This is his first time in this kind of environment, but he always works to the max, to the limit. It’s clear that tactically and technically, he’s still got room for growth, but he boasts excellent behaviour and dedication.
This is a reminder that the UEFA Europa League round of 32 first leg Shakhtar vs Eintracht kicks off at 22:00 in Kharkiv on February 14. You can purchase the tickets at the OSK Metalist ticket office and online, at