S. Chernousov: “We are fully prepared for a long season, even if we will have to end it in May or June”
Manager of Tallinn’s Cosmos Stepan Chernousov told about the upcoming start of the Estonian league, about the physical conditions of the players and about the features of the upcoming season in the context of the epidemiological situation in the country.
At the moment the calendar of the Estonian championship is revealed, the first round will take place on October 31th – all the teams will start on the same day. We will have our first match in Tartu, where we will play with Ravens, which we faced in the quarterfinals of the last season.
The number of covid-19 cases is gradually increasing in Estonia, but significant restrictions haven’t been introduced yet. At the beginning of March there were 80-100 cases and it caused closing of almost everything in the country, as we can see it’s not happening now. For example, the football league continues its championship even with the spectators on stadiums, and there are no signs of stopping it. So we’re preparing for the start of the season based on a calendar that we have.
So the spectators will be able to visit the futsal games from the start of the season?
Maybe there will be some restrictions to the number of spectators because we play in enclosed space. It’s harder for us than for big football, because it’s an indoor sport. However, we don’t have any official regulations from the Estonian Football Union at the moment.
So no medical protocols have been approved for the championship under the current circumstances?
Not yet, but I believe certain documents will be sent to the clubs one or two weeks before the first round. The team representatives will have a meeting before the start of the championship, and it is possible that some medical protocols will be approved there or maybe we will receive more specific information.
Such a late start of the championship is a consequence of the epidemiological situation? Apparently the clubs will have to break the usual schedule.
Yes, partly, but we’re fully prepared for a long season, even if it will end in May or June, it’s not a problem for us. We’re ready to start later, ready to finish later, and even if we won’t have a break between seasons it’s not a problem for us.
How is Cosmos preparing for the season, considering the current situation?
We had a two-week cycle of outdoor trainings aimed at improving physical fitness – running workouts, some basic exercises. Team has started exercises in the hall since last week, and we have a lot of players there so it’s good news for us. But unfortunately our player Alexander Vtorushin was injured yesterday, he has an ankle fracture, so we have to adjust our roster even before the season starts.
We still do not have head coach Sergei Svetlov with us, he is unable to come to Tallinn because of the closed border with Russia. Accordingly the training process is going not the way it should be, but we have just started workouts in the hall, so I can say that we are getting involved in this component.
Are you planning any friendlies before the start of the season?
We’re currently negotiating with our potential opponent on Sunday. I don’t know if we have to leave Tallinn or they will come to us. I can’t name any potential rivals, as there are no final agreements yet, but we plan to play three friendly games before the start of the season.
Are new players expected in the new season?
We’re expecting two new players, we’re going to look at them on trainings – how skillful they are, and then we’re going to decide whether or not to add them to the squad. In general, we have good trainings attendance, for example, 19 people were present yesterday, so we have enough people so far.