Dinamo face massive problemsArticle
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Coach Victor Ryabykh analyses the club's major challenges in this season.

Dinamo face massive problems

In recent years, Volgograd’s Dinamo have dominated the Russian Championship, snatching the crown of Evgeny Trefilov’s Zvezda Zvenigorod by winning consecutive gold medals.

The current leaders of the league reached the EHF Champions League Main Round for the second time in a row, but just like last year, Victor Ryabykh’s team is struggling and is having massive problems with the elite clubs of women’s handball.

Coach Ryabykh talked to ehfCL.com about the main reasons for underperforming, the injuries that have hit his team and the upcoming challenges in both EHF Champions League and Russian Handball Superleague.

ehfCL.com: You’ve started with two losses in the EHF Champions League Main Round. What went wrong in those two matches?

Victor Ryabykh: In both games we were missing key players – back-court player Olga Levina and goalkeeper Anna Sedoykina. At the same time the whole team is drained, and the physical condition of the players is insufficient.

Between 9th and 14th January we had three games involving the flights Volgograd - Oslo - Astrakhan -Volgograd. It’s simply too much.

ehfCL.com: Dinamo looked especially slow in the game against Larvik, and without any real attacking ideas. How did you see your team’s performance and what are the main reasons for such a poor performance?

Victor Ryabykh: That day, two players – Ksenia Makeeva and Anna Kochetova - felt ill. Therefore, we gave a chance to our young players, but they are obviously not ready to compete at the same level as Larvik, who are effectively the Norwegian national team.

While young Ksenia Milova, Nataliya Danshina and Elena Fomina performed quite well, the others were lacking.

ehfCL.com: Your next opponents, Leipzig, are also without points, so who will get the points this weekend? What will be decisive in this important match?

Victor Ryabykh: Our next opponent, like us, has minimal chances to qualify for the semi-finals. First of all, my girls need time for rehabilitation and recovery. I gave them two days of complete rest.

Since September no game was played without someone either being ill or injured. Before the last game in Astrakhan, Elena Avdekova suffered an infection and we played without her.

ehfCL.com: Do you think a place in the semi-finals is still realistic for your team and how have your goals changed after the first two rounds?

Victor Ryabykh: After the 2 losses in the Main Round, the management of Dinamo Volgograd decided that our priority is the Russian Championship.

To be among the Top 8 in Europe is already a big honour for us, but to compete on an equal footing with the favourites we need a similar budget and conditions for training and recovery. My girls are already doing a fantastic and heroic job anyway.

ehfCL.com: Please update us on Olga Levina and Anna Sedoykina - what kind of injuries do they have, and when will they be available? Is everyone else fit before the game in Leipzig?

Victor Ryabykh: The only thing that is clear is that both Sedoykina and Levina should be on the starting list for the game against Leipzig.

ehfCL.com: Levon Akopyan, former president of the club, surprisingly left the club recently. Does this affect the team in any way, and who is the new president?

Victor Ryabykh: I don’t want to comment on our ex-president. The new one – Vasily Sidorenko – was a world-class figure in athletics. (A hammer-throwing athlete at the Summer Olympics in Atlanta and Sydney - the ed.)

For 6 years he was the head of the regional athletics federation. Our new president is a man with big experience in sports management.

The home match of Dinamo against the German champions will be broadcast as a free-of-charge live web stream on ehfTV.com.

EHF Women’s Champions League, Main Round, Round 3
Saturday, 19 February 2011, 14:00 hrs (local time)
Dinamo Volgograd (RUS) vs. HC Leipzig (GER)

ehfTV.com is the official Internet TV platform of the European Handball Federation and offers free live streaming as well as a video on demand service.

TEXT: Márk Hegedüs / Шмельков Артем Александрович