Football field between Milan and Borisov
Most boys dream of seeing the world’s best footballers in action and BATE’s youth team are in a wonderful position to do so, taking part in Football for Friendship
Full of positivity after tournament
Our young squad faced teams from Slovakia, Slovenia and Syria in its group, with the Borisov players as the youngest. Sadly, they lost 0:1, 0:4, 1:2, experiencing major defeat from Slovenia’s Maribor, which later won the tournament. Alexander Mikhailov, the coach of BATE’s youth team, tells us, “It wasn’t easy for our guys to play against older footballers, being at a physical disadvantage. Of course, they were upset by the result, especially as, watching other line-ups, we realised that we could have beaten them. However, they’ve learnt that you can’t rely on the luck of the draw; you need to play hard and show skill.”
Our players had the chance to improve their English in Italy, since it was the shared language of communication among teams from 30 countries. They had the chance to meet a great number of European teams, as well as players from Asia and South America. Mr. Mikhailov tells us, “Squads had to play street football in boots without cleats, as you would in the gym. However, the Syrians — in our group — came in studded boots. To help them avoid disqualification, our players shared their footwear with them between matches.”
The biggest lessons were learnt after the tournament, when Real and Atletico met in the finals of the Champions’ League, with Sergio Ramos, Yannick Carrasco and Cristiano Ronaldo on the pitch. Mr. Mikhailov notes, “We teach our guys the same style as used by Madrid Real and Atletico. At San Siro, our footballers saw and felt the game, witnessing players’ psychological fatigue, as well as penalty psychology and some interesting tactical moments. They loved this, as some are Real fans and others support Atletico. They even waged bets, with those who lost having to clean their rooms. Importantly, they saw their idols in action: the best footballers in the world. They now realise what they’re aiming at.”
Alexander Yermakovich, BATE FC head coach:
To achieve major victories, we need to accumulate experience from an early age. The Football for Friendship is great in this respect. We’re convinced that it will continue inspiring further achievements.
On July 1st, Borisov-Arena will host a match for veterans from BATE and Milan FC, marking Borisov’s liberation from German occupation. The match is just one event among many dedicated to BATE FC’s 20th anniversary, and will be the last for the Belarusian team’s captain, Dmitry Likhtarovich, who has long led the squad.
By Alexey Grishin