VC Minchanka's historic success in CEV Cup 2018: coach's opinion


VC Minchanka's historic success in CEV Cup 2018: coach's opinion

Interview with the Head Coach of women’s volleyball team Minchanka Minsk Viktar Hancharou.

We are at the rent gym of women’s volleyball team Minchanka Minsk, which is considered to be their home gym, where the team has its daily trainings and participates in Belarusian Volleyball Championship. They’ve recently defeated Uralochka NTMK and got to the semi-finals of CEV Cup-women.

— Considering the fact that international volleyball matches are played in the Urucсa Sport Palace and Chizhovka Arena, don’t you feel uncomfortable having always to move from one place to another?
When we play European cups matches, it feels like we are not home. We only have time to an official training right before the match, alike our overseas opponents from Russia or France. We just don’t have time for more. Of course it’s not right not having our own gym.  Although we have played in the rent gym for 10 years, Minchanka and men’s team Minsk must have their own training facility.

— As for the match against Russian team Uralochka. We always hear from Mass media a very simple and common cliché “to make history”. How do you feel about making history and getting to semi-finals?
I feel proud, proud for my team, proud for the Belarusian volleyball, for we tuned-up to win against Uralochka-NTMK. And I told my team if we managed to get through French Beziers, we would defeat Uralochka. I sincerely had such a feeling. Everybody said that it was just an accident us passing through the quarter-finals, but I’m telling you it wasn’t.  We are not the same team that we were in the beginning of the season. We come out and play our own game. The audience comes to see us in action and they love it.  Sometimes I watch replays of matches and get goosebumps seeing the fans dancing, waving their flags, sincerely enjoying the game and cheering for the team. It feels really great achieving that.

— Not many were able to outplay the Head Coach of Uralochka Nikolay Karpol. Did you specifically feel any motivation playing against this famous Coach?
I feel it every time when I meet a dedicated, respectful coach, who constantly strives to go forward. Nikolay Karpol is a legendary Russian and Soviet volleyball coach. And I think every coach, when playing against Karpol’s team, opposes him personally as well as his team. Mr. Karpol, as you can say, has always been a source of major concern for ambitious coaches. I’m not trying to hide my ambitions and it was very pleasant for me to oppose Mr. Karpol. You could also say it was a kind of a duel between us.

— Some people call you Belarusian Yakubovich (a famous Russian showman). What are you thought concerning this?
I get it being just a joke. It would be weird to take it personally. I take it in good part. And I’m the kind of person who likes pranks, jokes. I even signed an autograph on behalf of Yakubovich once and people believed me to be him. Well, nothing wrong about it.

— You are a very calm type of coach. You don’t yell at your team or get angry. How do you manage to keep yourself so reserved?
Being a coach for a long period of time, I managed to learn to take a hold on myself although deep inside I am still a gambler.

— Next year there will be a Belarusian team in the Russian Volleyball Super League. There is a rumor that it is not going to be Minchanka. Do you have any information concerning this rumor?

There is a possibility that it will be the Belarusian national team. There again, I was the one developing this idea. Volleyball club Minsk and team Minchanka is a city project. For now I can neither confirm nor deny our presence in the Russian Super League.

—But would you personally like to take part in the Russian Super League?
I’ve already played in the Russian Super League for a year and can say that it is a completely different skill level, different team goals. Every player would get more opportunities to grow as a professional. What’s more important, we will attract new audience and fans.  If a fan visits European cups matches, he also goes to the Russian Super League matches where there are so many great teams like Dynamo Moscow, Dynamo Kazan, Uralochka, Dynamo Saratov. It is not a Belarusian Championship where there are only 5-6 people come to see the match without any realization of who to cheer for and how to cheer. We will finally bring the level of volleyball to the Soviet level. I think it is the right thing to do in the current situation. That’s why I strongly support the idea of participating in the Russian Super League. I want to develop this project so volleyball in Belarus would thrive.

—Minchanka got to the semi-finals. Do you consider it to be the team’s limit or there is still some place to grow?
There are no weak opponents in the semi-finals. And out future opponent Allianz MTV Stuttgart is a tough team to play against. Our desire to win is strong. The team also understands our victory rush. But we haven’t yet managed to make plans for the match against Allianz MTV due to the lack of time. I think this team matches our skill level and I hope we get to the finals.