Our in Europe. Sergei Mark Kosorotov: "Why Veszprem? It’s a big club! I have to move forward!"

8 March 2023
… No, it can’t be said, that Polish stage of his career developed cloudless, but together with Dmitriy Zhitnikov and other partners they try to lead Wisla Plock to the national gold. And it’s quite possible, that they will cope with it this season.   
There is only one competitor — obviously, it is Vive Kielce. Sergei Mark Kosorotov together with his team mates won at home in Plock. With an advantage of 2 balls. It is the only loss of points of Talant Dujshebaev’s team. Wisla Plock hasn’t got any losses at all. Apparently, the fateful match is scheduled on 21 May (in the last tour, the play-offs are eliminated in Poland). Oh, it will be exciting!
And getting to the Champions League play-off has already been achieved. In fact, due to his throw with an equal score. If he hadn't scored — it would have been down the drain…
But while we were preparing the interview for Handballfast, a new informational occasion appeared: it became known that the left back of the Russian national team and yet of the club from Plock after the end of this season moves to Hungarian Veszprem, that wasn’t a secret, generally speaking. 
So, this conversation is not only about that decisive goal in gate Porto, reasons for long absence on the court in the beginning of the year, but also a little about the new team…
 — So, why Veszprem?
 — I’m so thankful to Wisla and fans for everything, I liked being there so much, but I decided that it’s high time to move forward. At least, to try to fight for the victory in the Champions League. Veszprem is a big club. I haven’t talked to Momir Ilic yet, but I know him as an excellent player in the past and as an excellent coach at present. Obviously, I’m acquainted with Nikita Zaylupov, we talked on the phone.
But I’m not ready to talk more about Hungary now. There’s nothing to discuss at the moment. As soon as I get there, I will definitely tell Handballfast about everything.
 — Let’s move on to the Champions League. Together with several Handballfast colleagues we watched your throw to Porto about ten times! Can you tell, did you go for that throw with faith in yourself, despite a recent misfire?
 — Frankly speaking, I came in for the throw with my eyes closed. As they say in such circumstances, do or die. Theoretically, that is no way, of course. But I was lucky to score! A bit later Komazevsky was also fortunate, when he threw from the right edge. It happened that these two goals decided everything — we got to the play-offs!        
 — We’ll talk about upcoming competition with HBC Nantes. And now, can you say what happened to you? Why hadn’t we seen you for so long before this 14th tour group stage game?       
 — I was ill, I had mononucleosis. Fever remained for a long time, then I recovered. And there goes another attack — the spleen has increased. It was the consequence of mononucleosis. So, it is forbidden even to exercise. A rupture of the spleen can occur — we have a contact sport! I wasn’t allowed to do anything at all at first.      
 — And when did it become clear you were ready to play in Portugal?
 — The point is that there was no certainty till the very last moment. Though our coach Xavi Sabate told me before, that he would like me to go to Portugal. And when, after all, I went there, though I haven’t fully recovered yet and gained form, he told me: "Get ready, you will come on as a short substitute".  
In general, we took this match seriously, we watched videos attentively, analyzed the competitor’s play. However, I wasn’t present on all workouts with guys, sometimes I trained separately. And, obviously, it wasn’t that simple to play without proper preparation for the match. But I played during 10-15 attacks. And we have already discussed, how it finished (smiling).        
 — But you weren’t included in the application for the next match in Piotrkow within the championship of Poland…
 — Yes, I was told to stay at home in order to go through with the recovery.
 — And did you also miss the matches of the Russian national team with Belarus for the same reason?
 — No, these reasons are not connected with handball or health. I have no intention to dwell on it. What to hide, it was hurting. I would be glad to see the club mates. And now I just want to wish them through Handballfast good luck in the matches with Belarus!
 — And in the championship of Poland Wisla confidently copes with everyone (with the exception of Vive Kielce, certainly) without you.
 — Xavi Sabate actually does a lot for us not to to relax. He reminds: people are constantly preparing for you, they sleep and see, how to beat you! As if during the game guys felt the smell of blood, they will never let go. That’s why we go to the match as determined and concentrated as possible.     
 — Now you have 54 points after 18 tours (3 points are given for win in the main time in Poland). Were you close to slip up at least once? Besides the fight with Vive Kielce...     
 — I think, we weren’t even once, we win with a reserve. Last season, when we also passed without losses (except for the matches with the main competitors), one game was really hard! With KS Azoty-Polawy… Vadik Bogdanov? He played, I remember exactly. Because he reflected my 7-meter throw… But still we won that time!
 — Is Sabate a typical representative of Spanish coaching school?
 — I can’t say I have much experience of work with representatives of different schools, that I could differentiate them correctly at the moment. But, as far as I understand, Xavi wants to see our active defense, not the one Spanish usually implement. 
Actually, he devotes much time to tactics. And he is such a pedant on the whole, he always works out everything. Not forgetting to emphasize, that there are a lot of small factors that affect the outcome. Our coach is a great strategist. He tries to discuss and scroll everything in advance. He wants everything to pass according to the plan.         
Xavi prepares us individually for each strong competitor. He has a list with players containing designations — how someone plays, which side someone prefers to beat, how the combinations are called… But while dealing with a really strong opponent, a lot of nuances are added to the list. The plan often doesn’t change with more weak rivals, but top competitors usually demonstrate high performing skills of particular players. That means, they are able to play in a way, we don’t expect from them. 
 — I understand, it’s not correct to discuss the problems of competitors, but still, at least in general terms, do you think Vive Kielce will survive? Or will it turn into an average team even by Polish standards?
 — I suppose, even if it is unable to fight for victory in the Champions League, the future of a Polish middle peasant definitely won’t threaten it. Vive Kielce possesses the ability to constant reborn. Indeed, let the budget be not the same as before, but still...     
 — And how would you comment on a completely unsuccessful performance of the Polish national team on the home World championship-2023? What was the reaction in the country?
 — There is no tragedy in it here. All the reasonable people understand: the strong generation has passed, and the same powerful hasn’t grown up yet. Indeed, the Polish were fourth on the Olympic Games, but it happened at the height of previous generation. There is no so great selection of the players now. And it seems to me, that they have no itch to change something by all means. If people are working properly, let them carry on. The return may be in five years or in ten.  
Unlike other certain countries, no one is expecting a miracle or sudden shot. The Federation makes plans for many years ahead. No one says: «Give us gold medals immediately!»
 — Should also a miracle happen to you to get to the Champions League playoffs after HBC Nantes? By the way, didn’t you call Sasha Shkurinsky after it turned out to be such a grid?
 — Not yet, we only were texting. Of course, I will be happy to see him. And we’ll give a real fight on the court, of course! And I think it’s not worth talking about a miracle now. There are no favorites and outsiders on this stage. It doesn’t matter, whether you have become the third or the sixth in the group, you have a 50/50 chance. And then we’ll see, how it goes… The only thing that can be guaranteed now is that two strong teams will meet and there will be excellent handball.
Photo: HC Wisla Plock press        






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