National team has a new head coach

The head coach of Ukrainian national bandy team Magnus Alm and the UBRF president Serhii Babenko are on the photo (photo from the Alandstidningen newspaper)

The UBRF Executive Commettee decided on the national team head coach, that are preparing for the World Championship in Ulyanovsk. He is swedish specialist Magnus Alm. Last winter he met Ukrainian delegation, that participated in the Youth World Championship in Sarpsborg. Also he likes Ukrainian music and can speak Russian.

On November 20 the UBRF president Serhii Babenko met Magnus in Mariehamn, Aland islands. They had Skype conference with coach of Ukrainian team Serhii Akulov. They spoke about regulations of the national team training, that was held on November 28 in Kharkiv, and about preparation for the World Championship.

Our editors spoke with the head coach of ukrainian team.

Mr. Alm, what did you know about Ukraine before? Was you interesting of Ukrainian bandy?

I know there was bandy in Ukraine during the Soviet era, but I didn't know that tradition continued after Ukraine became independent. I have a great bandy interest and knowledge about teams, clubs and countries. I know bandy in Ukraine is concentrated in Dnipropetrovsk- and Charkivregion. I do have a historical and political interest, so about Ukraine I have some knowledge. For swedes maybe the Poltavabattle is the most famous when Karl XII and Maziepa lost the battle against Peter the great. Swedes also like your nationalcolours. I also like the songs and lyrics of Okean Elzy.

Did you watch video from training of Ukrainian team in Kharkiv last week end? What are your impressions about Ukrainian players?

I have been watching the video and generally think the players are keen in rinkbandy, but have to exercise bandy on big ice. There should be another tactics and moving patterns with 10 players.

What do you expect from the World Championship in Ulyanovsk? I think, team of Japan is the most principled opponent for Ukrainian team. Do you know that team, and how can we win them?

I have been watching at video the matches in the B-group in Chabarovsk. Japan for exemple is disciplinated, but we do have a great chance to win if everyone do their job in their position at the field.

Andrey Markovichenko said, that me must to win B group, so this is an aim of UBRF. You met our youth team last year. Is it real to get A group for Ukraine in some years?

It is absolutely a realistic opportunity for Ukraine to reach the A-group but it will probably take at least 4 years and I think an artificialice bandypitch (105m x 65m) in Ukraine is necessary. Hope it could be built in 2 years.

We have one natural ice rink for eight-men bandy in Budy. And we are going to prepare for the WC there in the case of cold winter. Majority of our players are the ice hockey players. What do they need to do to adapt to bandy game as soon as possible?

About how to transform your icehockeyplayers into bandyplayers it will take some time depending how interest the players are, but briefly the formula is
1. Skating in big circles in both directions depending on position in the pitch;
2. Always in speed, never stop, but accelerating when the ball is supposing to occur;
3. Play the ball from side to side or backwards but skating forward.
Easy in theory, bit harder practical, but we will try!

Are you going to visit Ukraine in future? There is one Swedish village in Ukraine. Maybe it is our chance to get A group?

I definitely hope I could visit Ukraine soon and yes I know about that little village Gammelsvenskby (now it's a part of Zmiivka village in Kherson region - ed.). If UBRF manage to set up resourses and the players really want to pay effort, train hard and learn bandy, the question is not if, just when, you will play in the A-group.

Your colleagues Thomas Engstrom and Goran Aslund were in Dnipropetrovsk and they can pronounce the name of our city. But Lars Wennerholm said that it is too difficult word for him. Is it hard for you to say this word?

I met Thomas Engstrom last Friday and yes he told me about their trip. I think I can pronounce Dnipropetrovsk yes….


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