North American legionnaires do not care about Belarus. Their naturalization is bad for the national team.
Shortly before the start of the Olympic qualification, my Belarusian friend and colleague Yegor Litavor asked me to give my forecast for the performance of the Belarusian national team, which was to play in a group with Poland, Austria and Slovakia.
“The chances of the Belarusian national team can be assessed as high. The team finally has a solid coach. Yes, Craig Woodcroft has enough minuses, but compared to the one who trained the Belarusians before, the Canadian is a really good specialist.
The composition does not include Evenko, Falkovsky, the Kostitsyn brothers. But the real loss can only be called the newly-made defender SKA. The goalkeeper’s line is a concern. It is strange that Taylor is still called up to the national team, for whom it is high time to end hockey. Kulbakov and Kolosov clearly lack experience.
The main rival of the Belarusians is the Slovak national team, which will play without Khara, Fehervari, Cernak, Sekera. However, even without their leaders, the Slovaks are the main favorites of the group. Belarusians need to beat Austrians and Poles without any problems, ”was my forecast.
Indeed, there were hopes for a successful performance of the Belarusian team even after the failed world championship in Riga. But after all, the odious Mikhail Zakharov led the national team on it , and now the team has a decent coach. Last season Craig Woodcroft came out with Dinamo Minsk in the playoffs, where in the first round he had a serious bite with SKA. Zakharov is a fan of entertaining the audience. Woodcroft is a professional.
Of the serious rivals in the selection for the Olympics, the Belarusians had, as mentioned earlier, only Slovaks. The first two meetings Woodcroft’s team, which includes a whole scattering of naturalized legionnaires, had to win with their eyes closed.
But it turned out differently. In the most important game with the Poles, our geographical neighbors did not score a single (!) Goal, losing with a minimum score to the national team, in whose country hockey is not even close to being the main sport.
“Life should be in full swing, if you have invested money. And so – we will be like the great hockey players yesterday. Let’s go and lose to Poland. There, hockey is generally unpopular, twenty people are engaged in it. How is that possible? And you give them money, money, money. I have already warned the minister and Golovchenko. They are: give me Belaruskali, give me money. Well, it will. But you give me the result. And then we went and surprised the whole world in Tokyo with a minus sign. There is physical culture, but there is no big sport, ”President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko reacted harshly to the failure .
Then – a comeback with 0: 2 in the match with Austria and the final victory with a score of 5: 2. In general, I also had to get nervous. In the key meeting for getting to the Olympics in Beijing, the Belarusian team was to play with Slovakia in Bratislava. Woodcroft’s team was only satisfied with winning in regular time. That would be where naturalized foreigners take the initiative into their own hands and give a result! Alas, all of this remained just a dream. As a result, the victory of the Slovaks with a score of 2: 1 and the ticket to the Games goes to them.
Let’s take a closer look at each of the Belarusian legionnaires. Goalkeeper Danny Taylor himself is a mediocre and average VHL-level goalkeeper who, in principle, should not be on the national team. Also in the status of an unlimited free agent, that is, without a club. It is unclear how Taylor prepared for the tournament and for what he was honored to play in all three matches. As a result, Danny missed an optional puck with the Poles, and the entire selection as a whole played gray and dejected. It seems that this goalkeeper will no longer be in Dinamo Minsk (if the Belarusians entered the Olympics, he would definitely be a part of the Zubrs). Though here Belarusian fans can breathe a sigh of relief.
Attacking guard Nick Bailen made many mistakes . It can be seen that the Traktor hockey player lacked motivation, as a result of which a marriage began in broadcasts and on the blue line.
Shane Prince was running around. I tried to move actively, but almost did not create sharpness. As an attacking hockey player, he played no better than Stas or Komarov. What is the meaning of such naturalization?
Francis Paré is himself a third or fourth link player. The Canadian was invisible and simply disappeared into the ice. With this attitude, it was possible not to come.
Jeff Platt threw a lot, but rather, he did it out of complete despair. The North American was lost and clearly not at ease. Why strain when there is a long and difficult season ahead with a big salary at Salavat Yulaev?
Head Coach Craig Woodcroft needs ideal working conditions to achieve results. Like the ones that have now been created for him at Dynamo Minsk, where there are enough high-class motivated foreigners, and not those who will simply serve their number on the ice.
The current North American legionnaires do not care about the national team of Belarus. For them, playing for clubs is much more important, and the presence of a Belarusian passport is needed only in order not to be considered legionaries in the KHL. This means getting more options for employment. Belarusians need to raise new Kostitsyns, Saleevs and Grabovskys , rely on their own, homegrown players. Such as Yegor Sharangovich , who almost single-handedly dragged the national team on himself, and earlier deservedly received a new contract in New Jersey. The time has come to realize that the naturalization of legionnaires greatly harms Belarus. It’s time to give it up.