Lyudmila Bodniyeva: "We will take the rejuvenated squad to Belarus — from those, who were on the two last training camps"

31 August 2022
The head coach of the women’s Russian national team Lyudmila Bodniyeva in the interview to Handballfast shared her impressions of the ended Spartakiad and told about the nearest plans of the team. 
 — Lyudmila Valeryevna, we shall start with the same question that Handballfast began the conversation with the men’s national team leader Velimir Petkovic yesterday: did you watch many matches of the Spartakiad? 
 — Practically all of them, moreover I watched them live. I missed, maybe, six-seven games in the sports hall. It’s unusual, of course. Even under the former tour system, as far as I remember, so much matches weren’t held in the same gym during a day. 
 — It was hard for you…
 — Not harder than for the players (smiling).
 — So what do you think regarding such a tight schedule?
 — From my personal — I stress, private! — opinion, another couple of days off at the Spartakiad would be nice. We must keep in mind that the majority of our players didn’t play in such a mode for a long time (and someone even never). Not everyone is ready to such tournaments. Many teams have objectively the shortened benches. However, due to this the teams even lined up. 
And, probably, it’s necessary to note such a moment: our teams aren’t used to reach the peak form to 20 dates of August, the optimal term is the beginning of September. We should take into account that moment, and others as well. 
Well, and it is worth mentioning separately that this year it so happened that girls had maximum rest in summer. Nobody had such long vacations before  — a month or someone even more. It also superimposed on the tight schedule. Most likely, all together it resulted in plenty of injuries, unfortunately, quite serious. And certainly it upsets.  
 — Without a doubt, being the head coach of the national team and a good diplomat, you will not highlight any teams. So, please share your impressions about the tournament, you’ve been waiting for so long, on the whole.
 — I can’t say that handball level surprised me greatly, but, frankly speaking, I didn’t expect such amount of exciting matches. Honestly, not all of the teams looked brilliant, but there were really excellent games, that forced to stay silent those, who predicted a semi-friendly status of the Spartakiad.  
 — Did you manage to watch men’s matches in Chekhov?
 — Unfortunately, not entirely. Of course, I always monitored the results, so I succeeded to see some fragments: five minutes here, ten minutes there… Here we are coming back again to that busy timetable. 
 — Obviously, there’s no sense in asking you to point out someone individually, but let us look on the other side — could you appreciate the Handballfat choice of the most-most? What do you agree with and disagree? 
 — First of all, let me make a reservation: I do not like all these teams on the version of someone, symbolic sevenths and so on. A agree to comment the choice of Handballfast, but it’s important for the readers to understand that my answers definitely should not be projected on the national team.
Let’s start with the goalkeeper. Your portal named Polina Kaplina, and I would add Katya Kirikias. During the tournament she remained more stable than anyone else, moreover, some of the games entirely, for 60 minutes. And there were matches, when she really determined a lot. 
The left wing is Kristina Kozhokar, I would agree with the choice. And it’s not even that the best goal scorer should be certainly included in the symbolic team. It is completely optional: potentially the goal scorer can throw the vast majority of balls to the gates of the weakest team, and thus break away from the competition. And Kris scored goals regularly. 
Who is your line player? Sobina from the Moscow region team, isn’t she? Yes, Lisa played well, but she isn’t the only choice. In general the line players have shown themselves: Sobina, Masha Gafonova from the Krasnodar region team, and Victoria Shamanovskaya from the team of Moscow as well. Primarily, they performed well, however, in attack, they have some work to do in defense for sure.  
The right wing is Albina Murzalieva, isn't she? It’s logical. But Olya Fomina deserves to be included into the symbolic team not less. Although Yulya Managarova had done an immense amount of work, but it’s a different matter that she hasn’t reached the peak of the form. 
Antonina Skorobogatchenko is the right back? I agree with that. 

Then the left back… The choice of Handballfast is Anastasia Shavman. Not a surprise. Nastya played excellent at the tournament. But we should keep in mind Lena Mikhailichenko…

 — Nobody forgot her — she was named the most valuable player of the tournament!
 — I understand your choice here. Lena played the tournament, I would say, with inspiration, adding on its course by the final games. 
So, let’s move on. Playmakers are a sensitive issue. I will say directly, the choice is more complicated here. And unlike the pivots, not because many players claim, but on the contrary, practically all of them (at least four players, who were at the training camp with us in Sochi) performed below the expected level. I am speaking about Kirdyasheva, Sabirova, Tazhenova and Dudkina. I’m sure, it wasn’t the best tournament for any of them. 
What is left? The opening of the Spartakiad? I would name not only Statsenko, who integrated into Rostov play, but also Sonya Vasilieva from Volgograd! It seems to be all. However, let’s point out: an exact parallel between the national team’s line-up shouldn’t be drawn!
 — Let’s change the subject then and move on to the national team. What are your nearest plans? Your Belarusian colleague Aleksander Sitko recently told in the interview with Handballfast about the upcoming meetings, is it so?
 — Yes, of course. We are in touch with Aleksander Sergeevich, we discuss different nuances occasionally. Even in spring, when we held a play, we agreed to return visit. Games are scheduled in Minsk 1-2 October.   
Honestly, we are looking forward to them. In the absence of sparring such matches are especially important. We also discussed a November tournament involving four teams. But it is in the planning phase yet.
 — What squad are you going to send to Belarus?
 — The final decision has not been made yet. But it’s quite likely that we will go with a rejuvenated, if you can call, team. In other words we will form the squad from those players, who spent two last training camps with us. 
Photo: press services of the HFR, HC Dinamo-Sinara, HC CSKA,
Autors: Alexey Lebedev, M.Lyubimova


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