Published: Sunday, 15 January 2017 14:35

Anatoli Davydov, the USSR Champion and the Russian Cup holder

“Players from Krasnodar could have been starring on this Granatkin Memorial”

Traditionally a large group of specialists from St. Petersburg and other cities of Russia are watching the matches of the Granatkin Memorial – the coaches of professional teams, the head coaches of the youth teams, scouts and agents. The most famous expert among St. Petersburg coaches and scouts who are watching games in the Peterburgsky SCC on a daily basis is, for sure, Anatoly Davydov – the Leningrad-St. Petersburg football all-time record holder on the number of matches played for FC Zenit (456!). As a player Davydov became the USSR Champion in 1984. And in 1999, fifteen years later, he won the Russian Cup with FC Zenit as a coach.

Anatoly Victorovich got to see all the matches of the first Granatkin Memorial week only because as a scout for FC Zenit he had to travel to Belek for a mid-season training camp of the Zenit Youth team. Before leaving the tournament Davydov shared his impressions from the matches in St. Petersburg as well as games of the past U-18 FUR Cup in Sochi…

– The team of FC Krasnodar Academy made a very strong impression on the tournament in Sochi. They won it quite easily. At a group stage they even managed to win matches with a double digit final score! (The FC Krasnodar Academy team, supervised by the club owner Sergey Galitsky, defeated their peers from Arsenal Tula with a 10:0 score and got a win against Ural Yekaterinburg – 8:0 – note by the official Granatkin Memorial website). Frankly speaking, I liked that team very much! Let me warmly praise Sergey Galitsky and the entire coaching staff with such a great youth team. I think that five or six U-18 players from Krasnodar could be playing on the Granatkin Memorial. I suppose that some of them could even be starring here in St. Petersburg.

– Krasnodar Youth defeated Spartak Youth in the final match of the FUR Cup in Sochi with a 3:0 score. Was that an easy game for Krasnodar as well?

– Oh, yes, it was! Moreover, Krasnodar Academy defeated Spartak guys twice on this tournament – both with a high score – 4:1 and 3:0. It’s a pity that these U-18 players are not here! Those are the boys with a very good potential in football. I don’t know why they are not in the squad of the Russian team here. Maybe the club management did not let the players take part in the St. Petersburg tournament?

August 26, 1976. The match ''Zenit'' - ''Lokomotiv'. Anatoli Davydov vs. Vladimir Eshtrekov (photo from official site of FC "Zenit")

– Mikhail Galaktionov, the Head Coach of the Russian team, was highlighting that he was unable to bring the strongest players to St. Petersburg exactly because of the leading Russian football clubs position. As a result, five players from the St. Petersburg team were transferred to team Russia. How do you like these two teams on this Granatkin Memorial?

– These two teams have been the brightest on this tournament so far. Technical skills of the players are good. The same can be said about Greece, for example.  Let me share my general opinion. This Granatkin Memorial clearly lacks young players with decent individual skills. When I was in Sochi, I marked several skillful youth players. Two of them can even join Zenit Youth team for trials during their training camp in Turkey that I am visiting as a club scout. As for the games on the artificial grass of the SCC, I could notice just some players representing Russia and St. Petersburg, but as a scout I’ve certainly known them previously.

– How long will the mid-season Zenit Youth team camp in Belek last?

– It will last for two weeks – January 15th to 29th. Belek is a convenient location for training camps that has been tested long time ago.

– Will anyone from teams St. Petersburg or Russia who are now playing on the Granatkin Memorial join Zenit Youth team?

– No, the guys will play for their teams till the end of the tournament. I wish them every success in this competition.

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Copyright 2011 Мемориал Валентина Гранаткина / Valentin Granatkin Memorial - Anatoli Davydov, the USSR Champion and the Russian Cup holder.
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