By Valentin Orlov
The national squads of Belarus, Denmark and Slovenia have joined Russia’s second national team in battling for the trophy. Unfortunately, Belarus lost in all three matches of the tournament. They opened with a game against the Slovenians, which finished 0:6. The Slovenians demonstrated good play, using their numerical advantage to the utmost. Sadly, the Belarusian team, which has enjoyed this advantage many times, failed to use the most of its opportunities. In the next match, the hosts played better but were nevertheless defeated by Russia’s second national team — 1:4. The Belarusians finished by meeting the Danes, who crushed them 8:2. The previous tournament, held in 2010 in Zhlobin and Bobruisk, brought together teams from Belarus, Austria, Denmark, Norway, France and Polesie, with the Danes claiming victory. This year Russia has won the tournament after a tough struggle.
The event was a ‘trial by fire’ for the new head coach of Belarus’ national squad, Finland’s Kari Heikkila. The Belarusian team has solved several tasks dealing with reviewing of its reserve players, as he explains, “There are promising players in the Belarusian championship, who could become useful for the national squad in future. I’m primarily interested in them and would like to give the new generation a chance to show its potential. In my opinion, there are defenders and forwards in Belarus’ Open Championship who should be trialled for the national team.”