30.09.04 09:45



One of the most outstanding football specialists whose professional reputation is highly rated at the football market has come back to Russia after long and successful years of working abroad. We talk to Valery Kuzmich Nepomnyastchy who is well-known to Turkmen football fans for it was Turkmenistan where he grew as a professional, started his sport career, worked for a long time with clubs of various age limits and raised a galaxy of talented football players. Once, he set out on a sport journey for the African Cameroon from Turkmenistan. The journey resulted in sensational performance of Cameroon under his leadership at the World Cup in 1990 in Italy.

Then he received a number of invitations from different foreign clubs, a story that has lasted for over 10 years. Taking an opportunity of having Valery Nepomnyastchy in Moscow, we asked him for an interview that he readily agreed to.

- Valery Kuzmich, we used to see you in the center of sport life, and what we see today is a half-year pause. What happened?

- I took a short time-out. I have not belonged to myself for quite a time. I have some family stuff to sort out here in Moscow. And, of course, I wanted simply to take rest and breath.

- How is it going?

- I have football with me. I go to football matches, the matches of the Russian championship, when I have time. I meet football colleagues. I am really happy when I have a chance to see my old friends, those that I trained or worked with earlier in Ashgabat. There are many of them in the Russian championship today. In fact, the managerial team of Kazan’s Rubin, the premier league’s club, is entirely made up of Turkmen football graduates. Beside chief coach Kurban Berdiyev, there are Yazkub Urazsakhatov and Vitaly Kafanov in the management that used to play in Ashgabat’s Kopet-Dag. I also see old friends among players in the Russian championship like Dmitry Khomuha and Rolan Gusayev both of whom started in the Ashgabat sport schools.

- Do you still keep Ashgabat in your memory?

- It is true. Today that so many years have passed since I left Ashgabat I still lack that feeling of psychological comfort in Moscow that I had when I lived in the capital of Turkmenistan. It is not by accident that having returned to Russia first thing that I did was visiting my dear Ashgabat.

- And…?

- … And I did not recognize a city that once was so dear to me. I was struck by changes in the look of Ashgabat. I needed a guide to take me around once so familiar streets. Believe me, I traveled a lot around the world and saw many modern cities, big and small. But I have never seen that kind of streamline transformation of the home, yet to a great extent provincial, city into a modern capital of world class. So, I will keep impressions of this spring visit for long.

- When will we see you at the helm of a football club? Do you plan to continue your training career in the Russian championship?

- I have no doubts that I will keep working. The only question is where. I will take final decision by the end of this year. If I receive attractive invitations from Russian premier league clubs, I will consider them with pleasure. If not, then I have enough invitations from abroad to consider. After many years of work in Cameroon, Turkey, Korea, Japan, China one cannot be taken out of view.

- You are one of a few Russian coaches today with internationally recognized coaching certificate. Does it mean that you can work in any international club?

- Yes is does. But still, I would prefer to work in Russia.

- How would you assess today’s rating of the national team of Turkmenistan?

- I have always been interested in the progress that Turkmen footballers make. I believed and keep doing so now in great potential of Turkmen football. However, one has to gain priceless experience of playing international matches and wait. As for talents and coaches, the Turkmen soil has never lacked them. Turkmen football will prove itself soon. I want to sincerely wish my fellow countrymen – both footballers and coaches – successes.

- Let us also wish you successes in your hard coaching work. We want to see you soon in your usual place, at the side of a football pitch.

- You will see it soon…

Interview was taken by Mikhail PEREPLESNIN

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